Besides genes and an unhealthy diet, your social circles can influence you to become obese, reports a new study.
The study showed social circles could influence a person to become obese, suggesting the risk of becoming overweight increases if one moves to an area with a high rate of obesity, the Daily Mail reported.
‘Experts advised that obesity can spread through communities like a ‘social contagion.’ Social contagion in obesity indicates if more people around you are obese, then that may raise your chances of becoming obese.’
"Social contagion in obesity means if more people around you are obese, then that may increase your chances of becoming obese. Subconsciously, you are affected by what people around you are doing," said Ashlesha Datar at the University of Southern California.
"If you move to a community where a sedentary lifestyle is a norm, you join that. There is this social influence," Datar said.
For the study, the team included 1,314 parents and 1,111 children of US Army personnel at 38 bases.
The chances of becoming overweight or obese for a teenager increased four-six percent rise in every one percent of obesity.
On the other hand, the risk of the parent becoming obese or overweight went up five percent for an increase in every one percent of obesity in the area.
The longer the families lived there, the more likely they put on weight, the report said.
Many variables can cause obesity, and previous research has shown living in certain communities carries a higher risk of obesity than living in other communities.