Study: Why a Heavy Roommate Keeps You Thin

college-girls-pizza-partyIf your having a hard time choosing a roommate, look for one that is heavier than you. That is, if you don’t want to gain a lot of weight in college, according to one study.

A new study conducted by the University of Michigan found that freshmen women with heavier roommates are less likely to pack on pounds than those with roommates with a normal weight.

Kandice Kapinos, an assistant research scientist at the institute, said she thinks that one of the possible reasons that may have contributed to these findings is that heavier women are more apt to diet, exercise and take diet pills, and being influenced by one’s roommate, a person may also pick up on these weight-loss habits.

“It’s not really the weight of your roommate that’s important, but the behaviors your roommate engages in,” she said. “These behaviors are what may really be contagious.”

The study was conducted by assigning roommates at random, and then surveying those women about their height, weight, diet and exercise habits. With this data, pulled from 144 women, Michigan’s Institute of Social Research reported that the college students with heavier roommates merely gained half a pound on average. College women living with a slimmer roommate gained two and a half pounds on average.

With obesity rising 96 percent in young adults from 1988 to 2009, Michigan hopes school officials will better understand the impact of peer pressure on weight management. Young adults showed the highest increase out of all the age groups.

While most believe that the increasing rates in obesity are of grave concern, the UK Register, questions recent statistics.

“(These reports) are based on the widely-discredited Body Mass Index (BMI) system, which is based on the idea that human bodies are two-dimensional rather than three-dimensional, producing some bizarre results,” UK Register reported.

Via The Huffington Post

Also read:

Read and Ride Program Combats Childhood Obesity and Illiteracy

School Requires Obese Students to Take Health Class

Common College Roommate Conflicts Resolved








One Response to “Study: Why a Heavy Roommate Keeps You Thin”

  1. Margaret says:

    What I think is interesting about this study is that the heavier roommate’s diet habits are enough to influence the thinner roommate–but not to lose weight him or herself?

    I think the sample size of 144 students is still pretty small. Also, were all the students attending U of M? They might find different results at a different university.


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