Co-Workers' Attitudes May Make You Fat

Staff Writer
New study shows colleagues have big impact on weight gain

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Anyone in a workplace filled with candy, cake, and calorie-counters won't be suprised by the newest research: your colleagues may determine how much weight you lose or gain.

A study from Florida's Medi Weight-Loss Clinics studied nearly 330 people in the workplace and found that 29 percent of them felt pressure from their colleages about their diets, says the Wall Street Journal. Whether it was pressure to eat more, eat less, or order fatty foods, participants had a hard time ignoring their co-workers attitudes. A similar, ongoing study from SparkPeople found that co-workers were the second largest source of negativity for dieters, after spouses and partners.

But before you go blaming your office mates, another study points out the effect isn't all negative: Participants who had a positive influence from co-workers during a weight-loss competition lost a larger amount of weight. Said Tricia Leahy, the study's lead author, "Social contacts can be extremely powerful."

Need help sticking to a diet at work? Keep a drawer of healthy snacks at hand.

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