Is obesity contagious?  SEP 10 2007

A new study shows that if a person's friends become obese, that person is at a great risk of obesity themselves. For close mutual friends, the risk factor for transmitted obesity increased by 171%.

Update: Dr. Jonathan Robison calls the above study "junk science". "How does one conclude a direct causal relationship from an observational study? Bald men are more likely than men with a full head of hair to have a heart attack. Can we conclude from this that they should buy a toupee or begin using Rogaine lotion to lower their risk?" (thx, robby)

Update: Clive Thompson's NY Times Magazine article (Sept 2009) covers this study in more detail. In addition to obesity, the study indicates that smoking, happiness, and drinking may be contagious.

Read more posts on kottke.org about:
Clive Thompson   health   obesity   science

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