Nutrition

Your friends and family may be making you fat: Diet Sabotage Study

Male and female couple eating burgers, female feeding male.
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Fitness

June 7, 2023 | 2.39pm


Don’t bite the hand that feeds you or maybe Do if you are trying to lose weight.

We often rely on our loved ones to be the voice of reason when we struggle to stay the course, but a new study suggests friends and family may be the obstacle to our weight-loss goal.

According to researchers at the University of Surrey in England, there are three main ways that the people closest to you – friends, family and lovers – can have a big effect on your health goals.

Jane Ogden, a professor of health psychology and lead author of the study, says people’s weight loss also affects those closest to them, who may be struggling to cope with the change, both physically and emotionally.

Weight loss often results in a change, from giving a person more confidence to a change in the social dynamics in their relationships, Ogden explained in a statement linked to the publication of his work in Current Obesity Reports. Many do not welcome such changes and may, consciously or unconsciously, attempt to derail a person’s attempts to lose weight to keep things as they are.


Feeders can inhibit weight loss by constantly feeding someone trying to lose weight.
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The main ways the researchers identified as inhibiting weight loss were: sabotage, collusion and feeding.

Sabotage applies to those who are directly trying to stop weight loss efforts and can be described as someone who is active and intentionally undermining another person’s weight goals.

Examples include: discouraging people from switching to a healthier diet, erecting barriers to joining support groups, and undermining efforts to increase physical activity by refusing to go or exercise with them, or highlighting the cost of a membership to a gym.

Eating is what it sounds like: Overfeeding even when the dieter says they’re not hungry or when they’ve said they’re making an effort to eat less or healthier.


Friends and family may be the reason you aren’t losing weight.
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Collusion is the least aggressive or intentional type of sabotage, although Ogden noted that it is often seen as an act of kindness.

Researchers analyze a number of studies that find examples of family, friends and partners colluding with those trying to lose weight by following their behavior when it doesn’t align with their weight loss goals.

Researchers also looked at the impact of intimate partners to see how negative support from a partner can undermine both weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Ogden says a support group while losing weight is imperative.

People pursue weight loss for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for their overall health or to feel better about themselves, she explained. The support of friends and family can be an invaluable tool in helping people achieve their goals, yet sometimes those closest to them hinder their efforts by tempting them with unhealthy foods or by acting as a barrier to helping them adopt a lifestyle. healthier life.




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