Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Weight Gain Associated With Years Following Marriage And Divorce

Women gain weight after marriage and men after divorce, especially among those over 30, likely the result of “weight shock” to people’s routines in physical activity and diet, sociologists reported.

The research, led by a sociology doctoral student at The Ohio State University, was presented at a roundtable on Marriage and Family at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. They used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth ’79, a nationally representative sample of men and women ages 14 to 22 in 1979. The same people were surveyed every year up to 1994 and every other year since then, reported a press release.

Data on more than 10,000 people surveyed from 1986 to 2008 was used to determine weight gain in the two years following marriage or divorce. Researchers separated people into four groups based upon body-mass index: those who had a body-mass index decrease of about 7 pounds for a person 5′ 10″ tall; those who gained 7-20 pounds; those who gained more than 21 pounds; and those with no gain or who lost less than 7 pounds.

While there have been many studies about weight gain after marriage or divorce, most of them look at average changes in weight and find very small increases or small decreases in weight. But these results may mask the fact that some people actually lose weight, while some stay the same and some have large weight increases, one of the researchers said.

“For most people, the weight gain we see after a marital transition is relatively small, not something we would see as a serious health threat,” researchers reported.

The results fit with other research on how marriage affects men and women. Women may have less time for diet and exercise after marriage, and men lose their health benefits gained in marriage after leaving the relationship. Researchers reported that people settle into certain patterns of physical activity and diet over time, and the sudden transition “is a bigger shock than it would have been when you were younger, and that can really impact your weight.”

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »