Meanwhile, the researchers say they do not want to encourage the shunning of overweight people, in part because losing a good friend is — like every single other thing in the universe except parsnips — bad for one’s health. (Rather than lose your original chunky friend, Dr. Christakis proposes bringing a third, thin person into the relationship. This sounds like a sitcom of the Fox fall schedule.)
G!d save us from what is likely to follow from this research result. Prejudice against the overweight (of which I am a conspicuous member) is among the last acceptable biases in polite society. Despite the extensive research on the biological bases of obesity, and the overwhelming statistics on the failure rates of diets in producing sustainable weight loss, look for an onslaught of calls for personal responsibility. There are apparently few sensations more pleasurable to the biologically slim than blaming fat folks for their condition.
Meanwhile, health insurance typically refuses to cover bariatric surgery, or even the costs of medical side effects associated with such surgery. Medical costs associated with failed suicide attempts and drunken accidents are generally covered, but not side effects of medically indicated and recommended bariatric procedures. Think about that.