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Marriage Obesity: Why Are We Gaining Weight in Relationships?


Researchers are studying the impact of a relationship on weight

When people are in a steady relationship, they often develop weight problems over time. In a recent study, researchers identified the reasons for weight gain in a relationship:

  • People in a relationship often gain a lot of weight even though they eat healthier,
  • regular family meals lead to increased calorie intake,
  • Parents often eat leftovers from their children's meals
  • when people live in a relationship, they don't have to stay slim and attractive to find a partner.

The researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia (CGU) found in their study that living in a relationship leads to more weight gain. The doctors published the results of their study in the English-language journal "PLOS One".

Study included more than 15,000 participants

The Australian experts examined a total of more than 15,000 subjects for their study. These were medically monitored for a period of nine years. They found that people in a partnership are less likely to have a normal, healthy body weight compared to single, widowed and divorced people.

Couples live healthier

The researchers found that couples are more likely to consume more fruits and vegetables and generally smoke and drink less alcohol. However, there are other factors that can cause people in a partnership to gain weight and develop excess weight.

People in partnership eat more calories

In a marriage or in relationships in general there are a number of obligations, such as regular family meals, explain the doctors. While couples ’diets often include healthier foods such as fruits and vegetables and include little fast food, they often consume larger portions and more calories in the company of other people than people living alone. This then leads to increased energy consumption.

People looking for a partner want to look slim and attractive

There are of course other reasons that can have a big impact on weight. For example, the results suggest that married people gain weight because they no longer have to stay thin to get to know a partner and look attractive to them.

Parents eat leftovers from children's meals

When couples no longer have to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortable eating more foods or foods high in fat and sugar, study author Dr. Stephanie Schoeppe. Another reason for the frequent weight gain of couples with children could be that parents eat their children's snacks or leftovers from meals.

Couples gain weight within two years

The researchers also found that both couples and single people are likely to follow the recommendations for sports and watch a similar amount of television. The data on the body mass index (BMI) of couples and singles used in the study came from surveys that were carried out between 2005 and 2014. Previous research has shown that couples tend to become overweight and sedentary over a period of just two years. (as)

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