The Weird Thing That Happens To Guys After They'Re Married
Well, here's an unexpected side effect of saying "I do": Married men are more likely to gain weight than single guys, according to a new study published in the journal Families, Systems, & Health.
For the study, researchers analyzed data from Project EAT, which polled 1,853 adults. Turns out, the married men surveyed were 25 percent more likely to be overweight than those who hadn't tied the knot. (In case you're wondering, women's weights didn't differ based on their relationship status.) Interestingly, there was no significant difference in food consumption and physical activity among the different groups of men.
So why do married men tend to weigh more? They may feel more comfortable with their relationships and worry less about their figures, say study authors. This is in line with prior research out of Tallinn University in Estonia that shows being in a happy relationship is associated with a better body image for women: Having someone who loves and supports you—and realizes your looks are just one small aspect of you—would help anyone stress less about a few extra pounds, regardless of gender. So if you've noticed that your partner has gained a little weight since you coupled up, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
If, however, your partner's weight creep is starting to cross over into unhealthy territory, you can't just tell them they need to go on a diet (research suggests that's not an effective way to motivate them—and that it could hurt your relationship). Instead, learn the right way to encourage your partner to pick up healthier habits.