Weight Loss Not Always Beneficial For Relationships

December 12th, 2013
Weight Loss Not Always Beneficial For Relationships

That’s the conclusion from scientists at North Carolina State University. In some people losing weight can be detrimental to their relationships.

It is now generally accepted that being overweight is not good for a person’s health and wellbeing. Many people also suffer psychologically despite the ‘jolly fat’ persona by some who either struggle to lose weight or are just plain lazy.

However scientists from North Carolina State University believe that while most people who do lose weight report an improved relationship with their spouse or significant other, a small minority report the opposite.

This seems rather strange until it is realised that that what actually matters is whether the partners are on the same page in their attitudes towards health.

For the majority of people who lose weight their partner is supportive not just during the weight loss period but also afterwards. The partner will engage in activities and discussions around health and weight loss.

However for some, the partner who is not supportive will feel negative, mainly because they were nagged to follow suit and lose weight themselves and / or take part in activities to support their other half.

In short, communication between the couples deteriorates.

The results of this research came from a questionnaire of 21 couples across the USA. The researchers found that partners who were more receptive to the other person’s needs improved their communication and hence their personal relationship.

The reasons for wanting to lose weight had no bearing.

On the other hand, if one partner was not interested in their partner’s need to lose weight and / or were not supportive in their endeavours, they tended to view the whole thing in a negative light. Hence, it affected their communication and indeed their personal, emotional and romantic relationship.

Speaking with reporters about this intriguing finding, Dr. Lynsey Romo, an assistant professor of communication at North Carolina State University said that communication is vital in a healthy relationship and that weight change can impact dramatically either way.

Despite the rather surprising results there is no suggestion that anyone should be prevented from losing weight if their significant other is not supportive.

A healthy lifestyle is important for all, irrespective of any effect on a romantic relationship.


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