Weight Loss Can Be Contagious, Study Suggests
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Is weight loss “contagious”? According to a new study published online in the journal Obesity, teammates in a team-based weight loss competition significantly influenced each other’s weight loss, suggesting that shedding pounds can have a ripple effect.
“We know that obesity can be socially contagious, but now we know that social networks play a significant role in weight loss as well, particularly team-based weight loss competitions,” said lead author Tricia Leahey, Ph.D., of The Miriam Hospital and Alpert Medical School. “In our study, weight loss clearly clustered within teams, which suggests that teammates influenced each other, perhaps by providing accountability, setting expectations of weight loss, and providing encouragement and support.”