If you’re trying to lose weight, you may be more successful if you partner with a family member or friend who has similar goals.

A study published in the Oct. 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that enrollment with a buddy in a comprehensive program enhanced weight loss among 344 African-American participants—but only if they attended sessions together.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine ran the 2-year study to help participants achieve and maintain a 5%–10% weight loss. The program involved self-monitoring of food intake, physical activity, pedometer use, group sessions with weight and activity checks, and community-based field workshops (cooking demonstrations, gym visits).

After 24 months, those who enrolled in the program with a friend or family member lost more weight than those who entered the program alone.

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