Scientists Discovered That Couples Who Are Truly In Love With Each Other Tend To Gain Weight

Absence may make the heart grow fonder, but love’s presence proves to make the waist grow wider. You’re likely familiar with the notion that happy couples in love gain weight. Some call it a wives tale, but new scientific evidence is actually supporting the truth in happy couples being more prone to weight gain.

How much weight gain does a few years of marriage cause, though? In 2009 the North American Association for the Study of Obesity conducted a study that analyzed the weight of  6,949 individuals.

The researchers discovered that men were twice as likely to become obese when living with a romantic partner for 1 - 2  years than those not living with a romantic partner.

Furthermore, they found that women who transitioned from single/dating to living with a partner were more likely to become obese. Especially women, living with a romantic partner for over a year increased the likelihood of incident obesity.

Married couples and couples who live together for more than 2 years showed the strongest concordance for negative obesity‐related behaviors. The study states that “the shared household environment may increase the likelihood of becoming obese, influence partner concordance, and may be an important target for obesity intervention”.

Is Happiness A Factor In Coupledom Weight Gain?

A study conducted by Jay Teachman from the Department of Sociology at Western Washington University found that living without a partner or going through a divorce are associated with lower body weight while married or cohabiting couples tend to show an increased body weight.

This suggests that spouses take less care in their weight maintenance when they feel comfortable in a relationship and stop worrying about attracting a partner, while unhappy relationships and the inflicted stress that comes with them often lead to weight loss.

Is Weight Gain A Contagion?

It’s one thing for happiness to be contagious, but no one wants to hear that weight gain is contagious. Yet, according to a study by Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler a person is 37% more likely to become obese if their partner gains weight.

Why? The researchers concluded that spending so much time with another person causes food-related psychological influencing. In other words, the partners adapt/adopt one another’s eating habits. On the flip side, unhappy couples were less likely to spend a lot of time together and were thus not so much influenced by the other’s eating habits.

I’m Not Gaining Weight... Does That Mean I’m In An Unhappy Relationship?

The studies mentioned above are correlating the likelihood and chances of weight gain based on the statuses of couples. There are statistics on almost every facet of life these days, but that doesn’t mean those statistics apply or hold true to you specifically. There are always exceptions. You could be married or cohabitating and also hold fitness and nutrition as a top priority, have a genetic disposition to being smaller or larger, or just be a light eater.

Remember that the purpose of these studies isn’t to put a label on your relationship. Instead, they’re conducted to give people an understanding of why certain phenomenons, such as happy couples tending to gain weight, happen in life. So, use the information to help explain your weight gain or loss, not as a litmus test for whether or not your relationship is healthy or not based on your weight.

How do you feel about happiness increasing the chances for weight gain in a relationship? Did this article provide you with helpful information? If so, tell us about it in the comment section and be sure to pass the info along to others who may be dealing with coupledom and weight gain.

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!