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The effect of social media on obesity

PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
My wife watched me going through my homepage one night and stated that it looks a lot like facebook. No surprise there, but my mind went down this convoluted path from FB look a like to the social media/weightloss site that is MFP. "Friends" both active and supportive or not, and the...clamoring...for friends in the first two sub-forums, for support/motivation/socialization and what have you. I thought this interesting in light of this tidbit.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/social-networks-and-health-communicable-but-not-infectious
Researchers from Harvard and the University of California investigated 12,067 people who had been evaluated medically on multiple occasions from 1971 to 2003 as part of the Framingham Heart Study. They found that if one sibling became obese during the study, the chance that another sibling would become obese increased by 40%. Genetics might account for some of the parallel weight gain in siblings, but not for the fact that if a spouse became obese, the likelihood that the other spouse would follow suit jumped by 37%. Shared meals and other lifestyle habits might explain that link, but the scientists also found that if a person had a friend who became obese, his chance of growing obese rose by 57%.

The impact of networks depended more on social status than physical proximity; obesity in a neighbor had much less influence than obesity in a friend, regardless of how far away the friend lived. Friends of the same sex were particularly influential; a man who had a male friend who became obese experienced a 100% increase in his own chance of becoming obese. And when two people regarded their friendship as mutual, obesity in one member of the pair increased the other's likelihood of becoming obese by a staggering 171%.
Social-network science is much newer than epidemiology, and its eventual impact on medicine remains uncertain. The statistical methodology used in the Framingham research on obesity and happiness has come under fire. Still, the studies raise the intriguing possibility that noninfectious phenomena can spread across communities through social networks, and researchers have added alcohol consumption and depression to the list of things that may be affected by social networks.

It's a fairly short read, no heavy lifting required. Thoughts?
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Replies

  • quiksylver296quiksylver296 Posts: 25,730Member Member Posts: 25,730Member Member
    Most of my IG feed is gym/lifting related. But I don't know if it has had any impact. I used the gym the same amount before I started my IG.

    My close friends/family may be overweight, but I don't think anyone is in the obese category. So, it's hard to tell for me, personally.
  • cayenne_007cayenne_007 Posts: 417Member, Premium Member Posts: 417Member, Premium Member
    We were recently discussing this - I firmly believe that you become like who you hang out with.

    Most of my close friends also ride horses competitively, it's not something you can be successful doing if you're overweight. My Fb friends that I regularly interact with are of the same goal oriented mindset.
  • TerythaTerytha Posts: 1,137Member, Premium Member Posts: 1,137Member, Premium Member
    pinuplove wrote: »
    I hang around here because the last time l dropped off MFP, I started gaining weight back within a few months. So my n=1 is that it works in the reverse as well.

    They don’t “hold me accountable” nor do I look to people for active “support” or “motivation” or any other buzzwords. It’s that I’m participating in a community where people are working on health/fitness goals-which makes it the norm for me to do so.

    Thank you for putting into words something I couldn't describe. I don't need anyone to hold me accountable. Motivation is useless to me. I just like being around people working on similar goals because it feels more comfortable.

    In terms of support, I don't need anyone patting my head but I do value the advice and knowledge people provide here.
  • deannalfisherdeannalfisher Posts: 5,167Member, Premium Member Posts: 5,167Member, Premium Member
    in psychology terms that is similar to the proximity attraction theory - that basically talks about being in a similar location you are more likely to be attached to an individual - you could apply to the same here = if you are in the same proximity (virtual or physical) - you increase the likely hood of obestity (or converse similar physical changes)
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Posts: 9,369Member Member Posts: 9,369Member Member
    I'm part of a hiking forum, I think that counts as social media?

    I've made friends through it. There's an annual calendar contest, it's surprisingly competitive and has a "within the past 12 months" rule. Strong incentive to go out at every opportunity. People post amazing trip reports, to really fit in, it helps to go to great places and bring pictures back.

    Now if I were a member of a baking forum ...
  • PhirrgusPhirrgus Posts: 1,904Member Member Posts: 1,904Member Member
    in psychology terms that is similar to the proximity attraction theory - that basically talks about being in a similar location you are more likely to be attached to an individual - you could apply to the same here = if you are in the same proximity (virtual or physical) - you increase the likely hood of obestity (or converse similar physical changes)
    This was my take away from what I posted in the OP, with focus on virtual proximity. "Friends" here are not necessarily real friends at all, yet the motivation from peer pressure, real or perceived, does indeed seem to help some stay on track.

    Likewise - I have friends here I also chat with elsewhere and am more open with and the support is much more personal and genuine, which makes a huge difference in my outlook. Like does indeed call to like...

    So, as NorthCascades stated, if I did belong to a baking forum, I would probably be screwed lol.
  • nighthawk584nighthawk584 Posts: 1,109Member Member Posts: 1,109Member Member
    I use MFP primarily for logging as most do I would assume. It is just easier and slightly more accurate than what I did for the first 3 1/2 months of logging it in a notebook. I look at it like a gym. so many people go to the gym to socialize and don't actually even work out or get a crappy workout at best. This is one reason why I don't belong to a gym, I work out at home to stay away from these kind of people. That being said, I do like it if I can help someone or inspire them in some way with my weight loss journey.
    edited August 14
  • nighthawk584nighthawk584 Posts: 1,109Member Member Posts: 1,109Member Member
    pinuplove wrote: »
    I use MFP primarily for logging as most do I would assume. It is just easier and slightly more accurate than what I did for the first 3 1/2 months of logging it in a notebook. I look at it like a gym. so many people go to the gym to socialize and don't actually even work out or get a crappy workout at best. This is one reason why I don't belong to a gym, I work out at home to stay away from these kind of people. That being said, I do like it if I can help someone or inspire them in some way with my weight loss journey.
    I haven't logged consistently since last November, so I guess I'm the chick going to the gym to socialize and getting a crappy workout in this scenario :wink:

    Seriously, it's a tool. One we each use a little differently. But don't assume that just because some people are here to socialize more than you, they aren't putting the work in :flowerforyou:
    pinuplove wrote: »
    I use MFP primarily for logging as most do I would assume. It is just easier and slightly more accurate than what I did for the first 3 1/2 months of logging it in a notebook. I look at it like a gym. so many people go to the gym to socialize and don't actually even work out or get a crappy workout at best. This is one reason why I don't belong to a gym, I work out at home to stay away from these kind of people. That being said, I do like it if I can help someone or inspire them in some way with my weight loss journey.
    I haven't logged consistently since last November, so I guess I'm the chick going to the gym to socialize and getting a crappy workout in this scenario :wink:

    Seriously, it's a tool. One we each use a little differently. But don't assume that just because some people are here to socialize more than you, they aren't putting the work in :flowerforyou:

    I NEVER once said ALL people. 😃
  • cayenne_007cayenne_007 Posts: 417Member, Premium Member Posts: 417Member, Premium Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I don't think it's social media. People typically are who they surround themselves with. Friends are usually friends because they have things in common and enjoy similar things. My FB friends are also my real life friends...I do have some acquaintances from high school and whatnot, but I don't interact with them on a regular basis. For the most part, my FB friends are making posts about their latest race, their kids' at the BMX track, the latest time trial...training for another power lifting meet, etc.

    The company I keep now is quite a bit different than the company I kept a decade ago...not that I don't catch up with those folks every once in awhile, but my circle of friends has changed quite a bit over the years.

    I really enjoy fb and have been on it for over 10 years. I moved from TX to NM over a year ago and am so thankful for Fb to keep up with my friends & family. I ride horses competitively and use it to keep up with results, upcoming races, all the industry stuff, love seeing my friend's kids......just being able to keep up with my friend's lives in general. Here's a flip side for you - I have a lot of friends in the Fort Worth area that are professionally driven females that continually work to improve themselves. (I so miss Fort Worth culture)....and now I live in a small town in rural NM - I'm so thankful I can stay plugged into a group that continues to better educate themselves, succeed at work and with our hobbies.....because this part of NM is freakin depressing on so many levels.

    We become like the people we surround ourselves with - be mindful of who you allow to influence your life.
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