A new study suggests that we might "catch" obesity from those around us. Now instead of just cold and flu season, it appears we have to worry about fat season, which unfortunately lasts all year long. Further research suggests that we're three times more likely to be overweight today than we were a decade ago, and that 75 percent of us will be obese by 2015. Clearly, we're in the middle of an outbreak. Before you freak out though, read on, because we've already found a cure.
Resarchers found that if an individual gained weight, there was a 57 percent chance that a close friend had also gained weight. Among siblings, there was a 40 percent chance that if one became obese the other would too, whether the other was a sister or brother. Among spouses, the chances were 37 percent. Many other stats were published, but the bottom line was the link between friends. The closer the relationship, the greater the chances became that the friends' fitness conditions would be similar.
There is a silver lining to all this. While the idea that obesity is contagious garnered all the attention, the research also stated "thinness was also contagious." In the study, those who had thin friends tended to be thin themselves. Peer pressure, of course, isn't necessarily a bad thing.
BeachBody launched WOWY® (Work Out With You), a networking program for virtual workout partners, they understood the power that accountability plays in an individual's success and how members could band together and support each other to accomplish their fitness goals. Friends that are thousands of miles away have just as large an impact on you as friends who are right next door.
Beachbody also has terrific message boards to help with daily support, diet, scheduling, and personal issues. With WOWY, you can also have a real-time workout buddy. You schedule your workout ahead of time, generally with other people. When you log on, you actually see them there waiting for you (if not, get on your IM and drag them to the gym). Once you've finished, your workout buddy will be there in the cooldown chatroom. The only thing missing is a virtual smoothie bar.
Besides the Message Boards and WOWY, Million Dollar Body now has an entire site dedicated to member support. From calculators to diet plans to trainer tips and chats, it's probably the most vibrant fitness community in the world. If a 38,000-person study proves that you can "catch obesity," we have over a million members who've proven you can also "catch fitness." No matter how contagious your family and friends may be, we have the antidote.
SIGN UP FOR WOWY FREE HERE!