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Beware, a ‘non-communicable’ disease may be socially infectious

Beware, a ‘non-communicable’ disease may be socially infectious

I don't think this news will be at all surprising to anyone who has tried to lose weight or quit smoking when their partner has not joined in...

Sarah Jackson, Research Psychologist, Health Behaviour Research Centre at UCL, UK, reports that "...a growing body of evidence is showing that lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and obesity – which all increase the risk of dying of non-communicable diseases – are actually socially contagious.":

So if you want to improve your chances of making a lifestyle change, find a like minded partner to provide mutual encouragement. You could even do this through PMs on this site. Just post what change you are interested in making and see if you can find someone else also contemplating that change!


Photo: Some of the local scrub, showing Australian grass trees in the foreground with stringy bark eucalyptus forming a backdrop. It was 6km hike to capture this photo. Time I did that hike again.

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Interesting article, Neil. I suppose it's sort of what we'd expect, but it's helpful to see it described like this.

Bits I liked were - "We think “buddying up” with a friend or family member could make it easier to change unhealthy behaviours, be it through support, encouragement, or even a little bit of competition. After all, a problem shared is a problem halved.

And changing the terminology used to describe conditions such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes from “non-communicable” to “socially communicated” could help draw attention to the potential for risk reduction through social means."


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