Scientists have been curious to know if a relationship exists between a happy relationship and weight gain. You have probably heard people say how they gained some weight after marriage or getting into a committed relationship. You know, because they could finally “let themselves go.”
Well, researchers were curious to know if there is some truth to this claim, and whether the relationship itself was the issue or if it was just poor diet and exercise habits.
But as it turns out, there is some hidden truth in the phrase “love handles.” Being in a happy, committed, and loving relationship has now been proven to lead to weight gain.
A study in Dallas targeted nearly 169 newlyweds and monitored their weight changes over a period of four years. To avoid blatant generalizations, the researchers also measured factors like marital satisfaction, stress, and the likelihood of divorce.
One of the findings of the study was that happier couples were less likely to be concerned about losing excess weight. This, the researchers believe, was because such partners had no desire to attract a new partner as the current one was already meeting their needs.
This also suggests that couples who are not happy with their relationships were more concerned about their weight as they were interested in attracting a new partner.
At the beginning of the study, husbands tended to have a BMI of 26 while the wives had an average BMI of 23. This figure rose throughout the year depending on how satisfied the couple was with the union.
And that was not the only study to make such a finding. Another study based on 15,000 Australian subjects contrasted weight gain in single people with weight gain in people in relationships. It was discovered that weight gain and even obesity were more likely to be witnessed among those in relationships as opposed to those who were single.
In pure numbers, single people gained just 1.8 kg a year, while couples gained an average of 5.8 kg a year.
What was surprising was that the couples gained more weight despite not eating as much fast food and not drinking as much as single people did. They watched less television too, but they still ended up gaining more weight than their single counterparts.
According to the researchers, the need to date and always look good may have been contributing to the reduced weight gain among single people.
It was also discovered that couples tended to have children in the house, and this made them eat more. In any case, without the need to look attractive in order to attract a new partner, couples could eat foods that were fattening as they could afford to put on some pounds.
Obviously, there are other factors that can affect the likelihood of weight gain in people. These include stress, diet habits, drinking tendencies, level of physical activity, and other daily habits.
These findings aside, it is important that people live in environments that encourage healthy choices with regard to diet and physical activity. This is especially so for couples, who are more susceptible to unhealthy weight gain. The benefit of such measures is that healthier weight can improve the lifespans of the partners and that of the relationship as well.