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Does marriage make you fat?

New research finds that after the vows, come the pounds.

By Sally Wadyka Apr 4, 2013 11:02PM

Finally there’s some news about marriage that’s sure to make my single friends smile. For years, they’ve had to hear about all of the research that says that married people are healthier, happier and live longer than those who are without a partner. But now there’s this: Those who are happily married are also fatter than single folks

But the key word here is “happily.” According to a study just published in the journal Health Psychology, newlyweds who are satisfied with their partners and psyched about their freshly minted marriages are more likely to gain weight in the years following their weddings than are their dissatisfied peers. The study followed 168 couples in their first marriages over the course of the first four years post-wedding.

So why are happy couples packing on the pounds together? Apparently, it’s because they’re too happy to bother taking great care of themselves anymore. According to lead researcher Andrea L. Metlzer, an associate professor in the SMU department of psychology at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, “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.” (Presumably, because they want to stay attractive enough to get back on the market if need be.)

This new information runs counter to lots of previous research about how being in a quality relationship comes with numerous health benefits — like better mental health, longer life expectancy  and lower risk of cancer and heart attacks. Because if your marriage ends up making you fat, you’re now courting a whole new set of negative health consequences. Being overweight increases your risk of a variety of issues — from heart disease to diabetes to cancer.

While it’s great that the newly, and happily, married are so comfortable and content with each other that they stop obsessing over every ounce, there should be a happy medium somewhere between starving to squeeze into your wedding dress and tucking into a post-honeymoon Big Mac. Remember, you need to stay thin, not just be attractive to potential mates, but because if you don’t, you may not be around long enough to enjoy your married life.

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Apr 5, 2013 7:44AM
I feel that weight gain is often due to lack of concern about appearance when out of the dating scene.
Apr 5, 2013 6:29AM
I think the article is ignoring the data that show that most of the negative health consequences associated with extra pounds don't really start to pile up until a person is obese (and not just overweight). I think there was even one recent study that showed there may be some health benefits to being slightly overweight, though there are also trade offs. And this is what it really comes down to--trade offs. It's possible that people who are carrying a few extra pounds due to being happily married may be gaining health benefits from being married that offset any negative effects of being slightly overweight. In other words, it may be healthier to be happily plump than unhappily slender. Obviously, it's best to be happy and in reasonably good shape, but a lot of data show that being to obsessed with being thin and attaching your self worth to how you look (and feeling unhappy with yourself and guilty for "letting yourself go") actually tend to make people fatter. So maybe the scolding tone of the article really isn't helping anyone.
When you are single you eat when you are hungry. When you are married you eat on schedule whether you are hungry or not. SO you eat more than you would have if you were single and you gain weight. Marrage good but in my expeence it causes weight gain 
Apr 5, 2013 4:54AM

So She's the reason! thank God i thought it was having to work night shift and being lazy, it's just that i'm happy....till i look in the mirror haha!


Apr 5, 2013 4:33AM

When you are single, you focus on what attracts a mate.  Being slim and athletic is one of the primary attractions.  Hence, to attract a mate you work at being slim and athletic.  It makes sense for those who are in a good or comfortable marriage to let go of these appearances.  Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean all couples who are married and slim are unhappy or all couples who are fat are happy.  Also gaining weight doesn’t make you lazy either, it just means your weight or appearance isn’t a number one focus.  Our goals change once we become a married or a life couple.  Money, shelter, children and other appearances become a new focus.  So unless keeping yourself thin and looking athletic are a primary goal in obtaining these other goals, we will allow ourselves to gain weight and workout less.

Apr 5, 2013 4:17AM
My husband: "Well I'm really happy with you, and I'm feeling pretty chubby."
Apr 5, 2013 4:14AM
Nope, it's pretty much THE FAT THAT MAKES YOU FAT!
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