workout buddy

As the war on obesity wages on, the primary battlefields seem to be diet and exercise. But obesity experts recognize that obesity is mental challenge as well. Family and friends can have a large impact on your obesity efforts for this very reason.

This isn’t hard to believe. If your family or friends are eating junk food all of the time, you probably do to. If your roommate, spouse, or sibling stocks the cupboards with Pop Tarts and soda pop,the battle against excess weight becomes harder.

Those successful at losing weight often enlist the help of friends and family. This is why it can be important to tell your peers about your weight loss goals, so they can mindful of what they eat, and especially how they behave around you. Accountability with a obesity expert is a powerful tool.

Exercise is another area where peer support can be very important. Going to the gym with a buddy can make you more accountable, and help you work harder. Likewise, having sedentary friends might make it harder for you to get off the couch and into those running shoes.

When it comes to childhood obesity, parents and friends are very important, research shows. Research recently presented at the American Psychological Association’s (APA) Annual Convention found that when peers and family members join in healthy eating, overweight children are more likely to show sustained weight loss.

“So many parents say, ‘My kid should have willpower to stop eating,’ but that’s not the right approach,” says Denise Wilfley, PhD. “Part of good parenting is avoiding the food power struggle in the first place by not bringing unhealthy foods into the home. The decision should be made at the grocery store, not at the dinner table.” If your child is overweight it is not their fault. It is food choices and/or their biochemistry.

If you aren’t overweight, be mindful of your overweight peers. Your eating behaviors can influence theirs.