Love and weight gain

Marriage is an institution that seems to be holding on and even making a bit of a resurgence. Statistics across Australia and the US show that the raw numbers of marriages are increasing steadily. Yes, populations are also increasing, but in the case of Australia, for instance, prior to the year 2000 the numbers of marriages each year were in steady decline. Since 2000 though there has been a year-on-year increase in marriage numbers. It\’s true that, across the Western world, there is a pattern of around 75 per cent of couples co-habiting before making the plunge into the marital waters, but marriage still seems to be making something of a comeback. In health terms this could be seen as a good thing, especially for men, since the research generally shows that marriage improves health. A new study though shows that marriage, especially happy marriage, might have a health downside.

In the study, newly wed couples reported to researchers twice a year for the first four years of their marriage. Then they did the completed surveys to establish their marital satisfaction and also had various health parameters measured.

The results showed that the happiest couples tended to gain more weight than the couples that were having troubles and considering separation. The theory is that people who are unhappy in their marriage are considering finding another partner and so are more conscious of how they look.

This is not to say that you ought to foster some marital discord just to keep your waistline in check. Perhaps instead you could just both be aware that extra kilos can lurk where life satisfaction goes. It might be a matter of reminding yourselves that being fit and healthy is about more than snaring a partner, it is about being in a condition to enjoy life, expand your understanding and have the capacity to give something back. Maybe it is just a matter of putting the emphasis back on living in the phrase “living together”.

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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