Marriage May Make You Fat, Study Shows

Marriage may make you fat, according to a recent study from the University of North Carolina. Researchers found that couples who are married or in a long-term relationship are more likely to become obese.

heavy couple exercising_jpgMarriage makes most people happy. Now a group of scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has discovered that it can make you fat as well.

Their new study finds that married couples and couples in long-term relationships have a higher likelihood of becoming obese.

Now, it’s long been known that as the years go by, husbands and wives tend to start looking like one another. But weighing like one another – that’s a new one. Why should the development of obesity in Mr. X trigger the same in Mrs. X?

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The researchers looked at data sets from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which examined a group of adolescents in 1996 as they grew into adults in the 2000s. The researchers cross-indexed the obesity of the study subjects with their self-reported romantic relationship status over that period. The duration of time each subject spent living with a romantic partner was also taken into account.

After some fancy number-wrangling, they found evidence to support the contention that study subjects whose status went from “just dating” to “shacking up” or “married” over time were more likely to become obese than those who stayed at the “just dating” level throughout. Married couples and couples who lived together for two or more years were found to have the greatest number of shared obesity-related behaviors.

So what does it all mean? The researchers say that, for some reason, sharing a household environment with a person who is overweight may increase the likelihood of picking up their obesity-promoting behavior, and thus their obesity. While further study is needed, the researchers think that the best response to this new research is for doctors to watch their newlywed patients more carefully for changes in behavior that could lead to overweight and obesity.

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