Trying to keep healthy and active can be a struggle, and it doesn’t help when your friends and discouraging your efforts, in fact new research shows that this is the case.
Three quarters of Brits actively encourage their overweight friends to make unhealthy lifestyle choices when it comes to diet and exercise found the research.
The main reason behind this was revealed as wanting to remain the ‘skinny one’ of the social circle, followed by the fact that spending time with fat friends makes them feel better about their own weight and body insecurities. Looks like it’s time for us to find some new friends then.
But don’t worry too much as a third of respondents said they have actively supported their overnight friends to get into shape.
In order to investigate this further, the survey asked the respondents who actively encourage their overweight friends to indulge in unhealthy habit why they did this. The top 5 reasons given by these respondents were as follows:
- I like to be the skinny/slimmer one of my friends – 75%
- Having overweight friends makes me feel better about my own size and/or body insecurities – 64%
- I am worried that our friendship dynamic would change if they lose weight – 51%
- I am worried they will become a competitor for my potential love interests if they lose weight – 39%
- I think that the extra weight suits them and they don’t need to lose any weight – 21%
Sarah Bailey of UKMedix.com, who conducted the research, commented on the findings:
“We really need to be a bit more supportive of our friends. At the end of the day, if you aren’t there for your friends when they need you, then you are doing them a real disservice, no matter what excuse you have for being a bad influence. Losing weight is really tricky and many people struggle, especially in a social environment. It is really difficult to uphold your motivation.
“It’s quite disheartening to see just how many of us have ulterior motives for suggesting dessert at a restaurant or buying that round of creamy cocktails! Wanting to be the skinny one or get more attention than your friends is shameful! If you really are a true friend to someone, you will have their best interests at heart, not your concerns about being upstaged! It’s time to shake off those friends that sabotage your plans for success. Your real friends will be the ones who support you all the way and give you strength when you need it, not sap your energy and use you for their own confidence boost.”
What’s even more surprising is that only 26% admitted they felt remorse for sabotaging their friends’ healthy regimes.