Your Marriage And Your Weight
The better your marriage, the less likely you are to gain weight over the years and become obese by midlife. Research from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health came to this conclusion after following 2,636 midlife people who were either married or in long-term relationships. The investigators questioned the participants about the support they received from their partners, any strain involved in their marriages, and how they would rate the quality of their relationships. Based on the participants’ responses, the researchers assigned numerical values to the relationships and tracked the partners’ weight for nearly nine years. They reported that for each step up the “support” scale the participants gained roughly 1.5 fewer pounds and had a 22 percent lower risk of obesity. Overall, the team concluded, a supportive marital relationship is associated with a healthier body weight in midlife. Study leader Ying Chen, a postdoctoral fellow in the department of epidemiology, noted in news reports that the findings add to evidence that a positive social relationship is good for your health.
Ying Chen et al, “A prospective study of marital quality and body weight in midlife.” Health Psychology, March 2018, dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000589
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