It’s true – research shows that people around you can make or break your weight loss success. Find out who – and how. By Li Yuling
Is your husband making you fat? (Photo: Joshua Resnick / www.123rf.com)
Weight watchers alert: Your husband
Wedded bliss packs on the pounds for women by as much as 63 per cent, confirms a study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “We found that married couples were much more likely to be obese, watch a lot of TV, and not engage in enough physical activity, relative to those who were just dating,” says Professor of Nutrition, Penny Gorden-Larsen. It’s worse too, if you’re happily married. In this New York Times article, she explains that those who are still in the “dating pool” might face more pressure to watch their weight than those in a stable, secure relationship.
Weight watchers alert: Your mum
As is often said, look at your mother to see yourself in 30 years. Besides her body type, you’ve probably inherited her lifestyle and dietary habits – especially if she is the house hold chef. A report in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that “nutritional gatekeepers” like our mothers influence more than 70 per cent of the food we eat.
Weight watchers alert: Your office clique
If your colleagues tend to eat more salads and propose walks during breaks, you’re more likely to follow suit. A study in the American Journal of Health Behavior found a link between lower BMIs and more health-conscious work environments. Another study in the journal Eating Behaviors found that female co-workers who joined a weight-loss programme in groups lost more weight than those who enrolled as individuals.
Weight watchers alert: Your girl friends
Women love bonding over meals, and it’s not really a good thing. A typical three-course dinner (soup, main and dessert) can easily exceed 1,200 calories – just two sittings over the weekend can foil your weight loss plan.
And… if you’re part of a girl pack, beware: Researchers at MacMaster University in Canada observed that women tend to eat more in all-female groups. Compared to those who dined alone, women consumed over 200 calories more in groups of four. Their hypothesis: Women may facilitate more eating among their peers (desserts, anyone?), and unlike men, they may be more susceptible to social influence on their diets.