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Teen's Friends Affect Weight
Childhood and teen rates of overweight and obesity are on the rise, and studies are trying to find correlations to see what we can do about it.
A new study in the Journal of Health Economics found that the weight of a teen's friends was directly correlated with their own weight. Teens with obese parents also tend to be overweight themselves.
The researchers found that eating patterns, diet, and exercise were all influenced by who the teens hung out with most. Females were affects more strongly than males.
What can we do? Encourage our children to be active in sports so that the friends they make on these teams are active and like to do active things even outside of the sport. If your child isn't especially athletic, encourage them to find activities that do require movement, like the Wii Fit. It isn't quite the same as playing soccer for hours, but at least it is movement and getting them off the couch. Encourage your kids to eat healthy foods and involve them in meal selection and preparation so they can learn how to cook and not rely on convenience foods. I know this is all easier "said than done," but we have to teach our next generation to focus on their health and wellness to keep them fit and happy!