Overweight kids eat more when they eat with their overweight friends, Newsweek reports. A new study tested a child's consumption of healthy snacks and junk food while in the company of a friend or stranger who was either fat or lean. Overweight kids eating with a chubby buddy ate more unhealthy calories than any other pairing.
The research supports a 2007 study that found that kids who had a friend become obese had a 171% chance of doing the same. The current study’s authors attribute this to a form of social conditioning—after enough time in an overweight social circle, "I don't think people see others as being overweight anymore," Sarah-Jeanne Salvy said. "If anything, they see people who are normal weight as being overly skinny."