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How can my friends affect my weight?

Whether your goal is to lose weight or just stay active over time, you can double your chances of success by teaming up with like-minded people. Research shows social networks have a huge impact on how you behave when it comes to health -- for better or worse. Weight gains and losses are especially susceptible to the influence of friends and family: A woman's chances of being obese increase nearly 60% if her BFF is gaining, too, and rises about 40% if a sibling or husband gains weight.

Team up with a friend who shares your goal to look and live younger. Share a meal, work out, or just talk over coffee about your goal. If you don't have a friend who wants to work out, sign up for an exercise class or join a social or support group instead. Or work out with a furry friend -- one study found that dog owners are about 34% more likely to get enough exercise.



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.