Study Reveals Surprising Differences Between Weight Gain in Men and Women After Marriage and Divorce
We all know that certain habits and lifestyle choices lead to weight gain: eating fast food instead of fruits and vegetables, watching TV instead of exercising, drinking soda instead of water… Often times, however, it is forgotten or taken for granted, that momentous life events also have a substantial impact on gaining extra pounds. One of life’s most celebrated events, marriage, and one of life’s most agonizing times, divorce, both are linked to weight gain among men and women.
Interestingly, the two sexes are each impacted quite differently, as researchers from Ohio State University have discovered. After tying the knot, women tend to gain more weight than do men. On the other hand, following divorce, men appear to pile on the pounds more so than women.
In most cases, according to the study, the weight gain was minor, but enough to cause researchers to raise awareness of the impact of marriage and divorce on one’s waistline.
One of my first questions, of course, was why the difference between guys and gals?
One possibility is that, married men may be encouraged by their wives to adopt a healthier lifestyle, only to return to poorer eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle following divorce. My dad, for instance, always grabbed fast food and take-out before he married my mom. So he may occasionally complain about the brussels sprouts with dinner, but he’s eating much healthier now, than he was before marrying my mom.
Women, on the other hand, may find they have much less time to exercise or prepare nutritious meals, since driving the kids to soccer practice, cleaning the house, and other obligations take priority. So don’t be surprised the next time you head to the gym if there are far fewer married than unmarried women.
Researchers also discovered that age plays a large role in determining how much weight one gains after tying or untying the knot. Those over 30 tended to gain more weight following marriage or divorce, compared to their younger counterparts, and the risk increased as people grew older. This may be, in part, because a pivotal change like marriage or divorce may come as a bigger shock to an older person, thereby causing significant weight gain, according to Dimitry Tumin, one of the study’s researchers.
Personally, I was a bit surprised with the results concerning age. It would seem a younger, more “inexperienced” person would be more impacted by marriage or divorced, while older, more “experienced” men and women would be more accustomed to life’s ebbs and flows. But I guess I’ll have to trust the experts on this one!