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article imageStudy finds happy marriage may be big marriage due to weight gain

By Marcus Hondro     Apr 5, 2013 in Health
A study on weight loss and gain from the Southern Methodist University has found a happy marriage isn't necessarily a healthy one. The study's figures found that happy marriages are more often associated with weight gain, divorces with weight loss
“It’s pretty well-established that marriage is associated with weight gain and divorce is associated with weight loss,” Dr. Andrea Meltzer, one of 5 study authors, reports. “But the extent to which satisfaction plays a role hasn’t been examined until now.”
The study was published in the journal Health Psychology and Dr. Meltzer, assistant professor of psychology at SMU, said that while it only followed newly married couples and only for four years, if the results continued over time they could lead to some large marriages.
“It was a relatively small amount of weight,” said Dr. Meltzer. “But we only looked at a snapshot of the first four years; if you take one of those happy marriages that go on for 20, 30, 40 years, it could potentially become unhealthy.”
Weight loss connected to marital dissatisfaction
Dr. Meltzer and her colleagues followed 169 newlyweds (defined for study purposes as couples married within the previous six months) for four years, twice yearly collecting data on marital satisfaction along with weight, height and stress. Those marriages reporting dissatisfaction with their relationship answered questions on steps they may have taken toward a divorce. They factored out pregnancy.
Results found that satisfied couples gained more weight.
"These findings challenge the idea that quality relationships always benefit health, suggesting instead that spouses in satisfying relationships relax their efforts to maintain their weight because they are no longer motivated to attract a mate," the study concluded. "Interventions to prevent weight gain in early marriage may therefore benefit from encouraging spouses to think about their weight in terms of health rather than appearance."
More about Weight gain, Weight loss, marriage leads to weight gain
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