Want to stay slim? Get a chubby roommate
Here's a quality that you don't see mentioned in many roommate ads...
Wanted: Heavy-set roommate whose chubbiness can motivate me not to gain weight this semester. Bonus points if you like light beer.
Researchers from the University of Michigan and Marquette University decided to study the dreaded "Freshman 15" (more accurately, the "Freshman 2.5 to 6") by looking at the effect of random roommate assignments.
They found that women who lived with a heavier-than-average roommate gained only half a pound of weight -- instead of the average 2.5 pounds gained by women with chubby roommates, according to a University of Michigan press release.
Wait. So, why?
Kandice Kapinos, an assistant research scientist at Michigan, said heavier roommates are more likely to diet, exercise, use weight loss supplements and purchase more-limited meal plans.
"It's not really the weight of your roommate that's important, but the behaviors your roommate engages in," Kapinos said in the press release. "These behaviors are what may really be 'contagious.'"
For the study, researchers assessed 144 female college freshmen with randomly assigned roommates. You can read more about their work here.
| September 23, 2010; 2:05 PM ET
Categories: News Overload | Tags: Marquette, University of Michigan
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