Ask Dr. Joy: Does Marriage Make Us Fatter?

By WEEK Producer

October 19, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 9:54 PM CDT

Is it true that getting married can actually make us fatter? Do married people tend to gain weight?

Divorce lawyers may rejoice at this information, but statistics show that we tend to gain weight when we get married.

Wedding planners may not want to hear the results, but Dr. Joy has brought us some recent statistics related to marriage and weight.

100,000 men & women took part in the National Longitudinal Survey and the findings may be shocking.

- 33% of women gained weight 1-3 BMI numbers in first 2 years of marriage.

- 22% of men gained 1-3 BMI numbers in first 2 years of marriage.

- 63% of men gained weight after a divorce.

- Most weight gain occurred in those over the age of 30.

What does the study indicate related to the reasons for the weight gain?

- Women have more to do around the house and less time to exercise.
- Child bearing adds weight to women.
- Eating in unison with your spouse, whether gay or straight. Couples tend to pick up some of the unhealthy eating habits of their partners.
- Couples tend to have different food likes and dislikes that may tend to alter healthy eating habits or different food choices (one may be a vegetarian and the other likes to start breakfast with a Red Bull).

What are some suggestions?

- Discuss: Talk about healthy ways to ensure good eating and exercise into your life after marriage.
- Togetherness: Work together as a team in cooking, cleaning and "us" activities.
- Stay active and fit: Make sure you continue to be involved in activities and exercise with friends after marriage.

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