That’s the finding of a recent study presented to the annual conference of the American Sociological Association.
Interestingly the relationship study found that weight gain is more likely after the age of 30. The researchers also say that a previous marriage can also have an effect. In other words, the trauma of divorce increased the likelihood of gaining weight as well as marriage. What’s more both sexes are affected and not just men where the so called middle aged spread has become something of a standard joke.
The relationship between weight gain and marriage is something that has been known about for a long time – this particular study simply confirms that. However this is the first piece of research that appears to show divorce is also a factor in weight gain. Other studies apparently show the opposite.
This particular work is also the first that has looked into men and women separately. There have been a lot of studies showing women are likely to put a lot of weight on after marriage. The reasons are unclear, but some suggest it is probably because they play a greater role within the home, and so are unable to fit in regular exercise. Except for sedentary men, the latter are also more likely to find other avenues outside the home such as playing sport.
Pregnancy may also be an important factor for women’s weight gain. Losing it after a baby is born is not that easy. So rather than struggle, many women probably accept it.
In general, the research appears to show men and women are affected differently. Women gain greater weight than men after marriage, while the reverse is true after divorce. In short, men benefit from marriage, but lose out after divorce. For women it is the opposite.