Can a Chubby Friend Keep You Fit?

Sahar Aker

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. But have you ever thought about how having an overweight friend might make you feel better? No, I don't mean feel better because you think you look better to all those hot guys passing by. Get over yourself. I mean feel better ... as in your health.

It seems a bit odd, like it should be the opposite. But a new study from the University of Michigan finds college women with roommates who weigh more than average gain less weight during their freshman year than those with thinner roomies. The logic is that overweight students are more likely than average-weight women to diet, exercise more often, and buy college meal plans that limit their access to food.

So, apparently your chubby friend's behaviors may be contagious. Lucky you. Whether you're in or out of college, imagine how healthy and fit it could make you. Your fridge will be stocked with easy to grab fruits and veggies instead of leftover chocolate cake. You'll start buying whole grain crackers instead of cookies and chips. And you'll hit the gym together before class instead of stopping at a coffee shop for an oversized muffin breakfast.

Personally, I don't think it's about weight. Whether you're hanging with your BFF or a college roommate you just met, I think it's about being with someone with healthy habits. You rub off on each other, resist calorie temptations together, and keep the dreaded Freshman 15 away.


Image via Arizona State University/Flickr

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