Marital bliss makes you fat, study suggests

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comApril 4, 2013 

Here's something to say when Grandma asks why you're single. Young newlyweds who are satisfied with their marriage are more likely to gain weight over time, according to recent research from Southern Methodist University.

It quotes psychologist Andrea L. Meltzer, lead researcher and an assistant professor at SMU in Dallas:

"On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time," Meltzer said. "In contrast, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship tended to gain less weight over time."

The logic? If you're unhappy in your marriage, you probably want to attract a new partner -- leading you to concentrate on your physical appearance. If you're happy in your marriage, you're (hopefully) not trying to attract someone new. So you might slack a bit when it comes to diet and exercise.

The aforementioned news release notes marital satisfaction can affect your health in positive ways. For example, a supportive spouse can remind you to take your medication and schedule annual physicals, it explains.

However, it's not clear that marital satisfaction translates into better health across the board, it suggests.

Do I believe it? I'm not entirely sure. But amid all the cheerleaders for marriage, it's nice to finally find some research that validates my vacant ring finger.

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