With the Wedding Comes the Weight Gain

According to the US Census Bureau 90% of the US population will marry.  And studies are showing that being married leads to weight gain, more weight gain than our single friends.

In October of last year, at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society, research was shared that showed that newly married men and women in their late teens and early 20’s gained 6 to 9 pounds more than single people in this age group.

Robert Jeffery, Ph.D., a researcher at the University Of Minnesota School Of Public Health in Minneapolis conducted a 2 year study and found that people who married during the study gained 6-8 pounds on average.

Sobal and Devine authors of the chapter, “Social Aspects of Obesity: Influences, Consequences, Assessment, and Interventions,” in the new book Overweight and Weight Management, edited by Sharron Dalton (ASPEN 1997) report that married people weigh more than the unmarried, parents weigh more than nonparents and whites weigh less — and value thinness more — than Hispanics or African Americans.

Factors that can lead to marriage weight gain:

No Longer Worried About Attracting a Partner


Less Physically Active

More Regular Sit-Down Meals

Studies have shown that couples who diet and exercise together are more successful–both with their lifestyle and their marriage.

Since most of us tend to marry those additional pounds are not stopping us from all the benefits that marriage brings.

The good news about marriage:

Financially better off

Emotionally fulfilling

Satisfies need for social connection

Reduces heavy drinking

Reduces depression

Married people live longer

Marriage not only gives those participating benefits it also helps their children.  Children growing up with married parents generally attain more educational success and exhibit healthier adult behaviors.

Now that we are aware that just being married is a risk factor for weight gain we can use this knowledge to make sure that we and our partners do some physical activities together.  Maybe take up bowling, hiking, or gardening as a hobby.  Find an activity that you both enjoy that gets you moving.  And we also need to make sure those tasty at home meals lead to good health and nutrition not just empty high-sugar calories.


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