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A Happy Marriage Can Lead To Weight Gain For Both Couple
A Happy Marriage Can Lead To Weight Gain For Both Couple

A happy marriage can lead to a couple putting on weight, according to a study.

Contented newlyweds are more likely to put on the pounds due to being less motivated to attract an alternative mate, say US researchers who tracked the marital satisfaction and weight of 169 couples over four years.

Psychologist Andrea L Meltzer, who led the study, said: “On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time.

“In contrast, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship tended to gain less weight over time.”

The researchers, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, said the findings challenged the standard belief that quality relationships were beneficial to health.

Meltzer added that previous psychological research had established that marriage was associated with weight gain and that divorce was associated with weight loss. But, she stressed, the role of marital satisfaction in those changes in weight was not so clear.

“For example, studies have found that satisfied couples are more likely to take medications on time and schedule annual physicals,” Meltzer said. “Yet the role of marital satisfaction and actual health is less clear.”

She set out to examine the association between marital satisfaction and changes in weight over time.

For four years, about 169 first-time newlyweds reported twice a year on their marital satisfaction and steps toward divorce. They also reported their height and weight, which was used to calculate their body mass indices.

Spouses who were less happy in their marriage were more likely to consider leaving their partner, she said, and on average gained less weight over time. “So these findings suggest that people perhaps are thinking about their weight in terms of appearance rather than health,” she added.

Meltzer said the study suggested that young couples should be educated and encouraged to think about their weight as a factor of maintaining their health.

She added: “We know that weight gain can be associated with a variety of negative health consequences, for example diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“By focusing more on weight in terms of health implications as opposed to appearance implications, satisfied couples may be able to avoid potentially unhealthy weight gain over time in their marriages.”

The SMU study is published online in the journal Health Psychology.

A September 2012 survey in the UK echoed Meltzer’s findings – 46 percent of women surveyed gained weight as a result of a happy relationship, while 27 percent of women lost weight as a result of a break-up. - Daily Mail


















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