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People who make an effort to lose weight not only help themselves, but can help others.

This is the result of a new study that monitored the progress of weight loss of 130 couples in six months. Researchers have found that when a member of a couple agrees to lose weight, the chances of losing weight of the partner increase.

In the study, about a third of untreated partners lost 3% or more of their initial body weight after six months, despite not participating in any active intervention.

The study, published in the medical journal Obesity also found that the frequency with which couples lose weight is interconnected. In other words, if a member has lost weight at a steady pace, so did his partner.

Amy A. Gorin, et al.Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Ripple Effect of a Nationally Available Weight Management Program on Untreated Spouses. Obesity, 2018; DOI: 10.1002/oby.22098