Why People In Relationships Are Heavier Than Single People
You know what they say... couples who eat together, stay together.
A 2013 study followed 169 newly married couples twice a year over the course of four years. Researchers recorded changes in the couple's height, weight, marital satisfaction, stress, and steps to divorce.
They sought to prove which of these models rang true:
The health regulation model, which proposes that if you're in a happy, healthy relationship, you would be less likely to gain weight because you're not as stressed. On the other hand, if you're in an unsatisfying relationship, you'd be more likely to gain weight because the stress would cause you to gain weight.
The mating marketing model, which proposes that if you're happy in a relationship you'd be more likely to gain weight because you stop trying to impress your partner. Whereas, if you're dissatisfied in your relationship, you'd be working out and getting in shape to try and attract someone else.
Now, that isn't to say happy couples become obese together.
"We’re talking 5, 10, maybe 15 pounds over four years," Sarah Novak, associate professor of psychology at Hofstra University told Elite Daily. "That’s not a lot, but it can be a meaningful amount for potential health risks like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, especially if the pattern continues over more time."
She also pointed out that couples headed toward divorce were actually better at maintaining their weight.
"People’s priorities are different when they think they might have to date and attract someone new," Novak continues. "If you think your relationship might end, you might prioritize healthy eating and working out. If you’re comfortable in your marriage, you might prioritize activities that are more pleasurable, like sleeping in or sharing brunch."
But hey, at the end of the day being in a happy relationship trumps all... and so does food. So there ya go, you've got a win-win situation.