It’s no great new phenomenon that people influence each other. Time and time again research proves that peer pressure is existent everywhere yet when a new study is released stating eating habits are influenced by friends there’s a media blitz.

The new study suggests that a friend’s behavior can influence your eating and fitness decisions. This study seems to make perfect sense though because when you are out with friends at a restaurant or spending time with them during the day you do similar things as each other.

The media has gone to a whole new level with this study, claiming that obesity is a disease that is contagious. How did the research findings go from the idea that your friends can influence your weight through behavior to obesity being a disease you catch from friends?

Spinning the results of a research study to catch the attention of readers undermines the work that the scientists did. This is yet another example of the out of control use of spin by the media. — Taylor Krugman