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Have a happy marriage It may be wreaking havoc with your waistline
Study found the happier you are in your marriage the more likely you are to pile on the poundsScientists think those unhappy in marriage may keep weight down as they want to attract a new partner
13:27 GMT, 30 January 2013
13:27 GMT, 30 January 2013
All wedded couples hope for marital bliss but it does come at a heavy price, researchers say.
For the happier you are in your marriage the more likely you are to pile on the pounds.
A team from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas studied 169 newly married couples over four years. During this period they measured their weight and asked them how satisfied they were in their relationship eight times.
Food for thought: The happier your marriage the heavier you're likely to be
They found that spouses who were happy in their union tended to gain more weight while those who weren't so satisfied tended to gain less weight.
The findings held even after compensating for factors such as pregnancy.
Lead researcher Andrea Meltzer, said: 'For each unit of increase in satisfaction found, either by the person or the partner, a 0.12 increase in BMI occurred every six months, on average.'
This increase would be equivalent to a 5ft 4 woman weighing 8.5st gaining half a pound every six months.
Although the weight gain period wasn't great it could add up over a longer period of time.
'We don't know what happens after the four years yet,' she told Health Day.
Dr Meltzer speculated that those in unhappy marriages may manage their weight better because they are contemplating divorce and want to attract a new partner. She called this the 'mating market' model.
However, she cautioned that her results, which she presented at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in New Orleans, doesn't prove a cause and effect link.
There has been much research into the effects of marriage on health. A recent study from Ohio University found wives tend to put on weight after tying the knot while men stay relatively trim.
The scientists, who tracked the lives and figures of more than 10,000 husbands and wives suggested this was because women stop taking care of themselves to look after their husbands when they get married.This could explain why men in the study generally gained weight if they split with their partner.
Ohio State University researcher
Dmitry Tumin said: ‘Clearly, the effect of marital transitions on weight
changes differs by gender.
for men, and to some extent, marriages for women, promote weight gains
that may be large enough to pose a health risk.’