Document Detail

The presence of friends increases food intake in youth.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  19535431     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Friendship may be uniquely relevant and influential to youths' eating behavior. OBJECTIVE: This study examined how overweight and nonoverweight youths adjust their level of eating as a function of their familiarity with their eating partner. DESIGN: Twenty-three overweight and 42 nonoverweight youths had the opportunity to play and eat with a friend (n = 26) or with an unfamiliar peer (n = 39). The dependent variables of interest were the amount of nutrient-dense and energy-dense foods children consumed and their total energy intake. RESULTS: Participants eating with a friend ate substantially more than did participants eating with an unfamiliar peer. Furthermore, overweight youth, but not nonoverweight youth, who ate with an overweight partner (friend or unfamiliar peer) consumed more food than did overweight participants who ate with a nonoverweight eating partner. Matching of intake was greater between friends than between unfamiliar peers. CONCLUSIONS: These results extend previous research by suggesting that the effect of the partners' weight statuses may add to the facilitative effect of familiarity and result in greater energy intake in overweight youth and their friends. Behavioral similarity among overweight youth may increase the difficulty of promoting long-term changes because the youths' social network is likely to reinforce overeating. This trial was registered at as NCT00874055.
Sarah-Jeanne Salvy; Marlana Howard; Margaret Read; Erica Mele
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural     Date:  2009-06-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  The American journal of clinical nutrition     Volume:  90     ISSN:  1938-3207     ISO Abbreviation:  Am. J. Clin. Nutr.     Publication Date:  2009 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2009-07-21     Completed Date:  2009-08-03     Revised Date:  2010-09-27    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376027     Medline TA:  Am J Clin Nutr     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  282-7     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Division of Behavioral Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo 14214-3000, NY, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Adolescent Psychology
Analysis of Variance
Body Mass Index
Child Psychology
Eating / psychology*
Energy Intake / physiology*
Food Preferences / psychology
Overweight / epidemiology,  etiology,  psychology*
Peer Group
Sex Factors
Social Conformity
Social Environment*
Thinness / psychology*
Grant Support
1R01HD057190-01A1/HD/NICHD NIH HHS

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