We know that bringing joy to others can enlarge the spirit, but research seems to say it can also make our hips bigger. The NIA study found a correlation between warmth and gregariousness and a higher BMI—especially in women. Another study published earlier this year in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggested that people with sweet dispositions showed a strong preference for sweet treats. Finally, a study from Case Western Reserve University found that when good-natured people pleasers found themselves in social situations, they were likely to overindulge in foods they’d normally avoid if they believed it would make others feel more comfortable. All of this means that cheerful, sweet people pleasers may face extra weight challenges.
Change your behavior: Good news, sweetheart: Gans says that you won't do any damage by eating an ounce of chocolate a day (that's three chocolate kisses). Really adore sweets? Get creative by microwaving semi-healthy S'mores (substitute half a banana for the marshmallow) or enjoy sundaes with frozen yogurt, fruit and nuts. Share the love by making an extra one for your cubicle-mate. If your healthy eating plans are derailed by a friend who had a bad day and wants to split a pint of ice cream, Gans suggests a different kind of deliciousness: Take her out for a pedicure instead.