The study, published in the September issue of Journal of Health Economics found that friends' weight is correlated with an adolescent’s own weight even after considering demographics, smoking status, birth weight, and household characteristics such as parental obesity.
"Our results may help explain the dramatic rise in obesity among adolescents in the past few decades," said Justin Trogdon, Ph.D. a health economist at RTI and the paper's lead author. "Peers can influence all of the significant weight-related choices for teens, including eating patterns, diets and physical activity. Peers also affect teens’ perceptions of an acceptable weight."
The researchers found the peer effect on weight was strongest among females, and among adolescents who were at risk of becoming overweight.
The study also showed that teens with obese parents were more likely to be overweight themselves.
The study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, a study that RTI helped conduct, that surveyed youths in grades 7 through 12. The researchers looked at students from 16 schools included in the data and defined peer groups based on friendships and grade level.
"Research has also indicated that peers may help adolescents to lose weight," Trogdon said. "Better understanding peer influence on weight will help improve policies and prevention efforts aimed at reducing adolescent weight."
Lisa Bistreich | Newswise Science News
New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau
Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.
So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
28.10.2016 | Life Sciences