Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Large weight gains most likely for men after divorce, women after marriage

22.08.2011
Both marriage and divorce can act as “weight shocks,” leading people to add a few extra pounds – especially among those over age 30 - according to a new study.

But when it comes to large weight gains, the effects of marital transitions are quite different for men than they are for women.

For men, the risk of a large weight gain increased most prominently after a divorce. But for women, the risk of a large weight gain was most likely after marriage.

“Clearly, the effect of marital transitions on weight changes differs by gender,” said Dmitry Tumin, lead author of the study and doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.

“Divorces for men and, to some extent, marriages for women promote weight gains that may be large enough to pose a health risk.”

The probability of large weight gains following marital transitions increased the most for people past age 30.

“For someone in their mid-20s, there is not much of a difference in the probability of gaining weight between someone who just got married and someone who never married. But later in life, there is much more of a difference,” he said.

Tumin conducted the study with Zhenchao Qian, professor of sociology at Ohio State University. They presented their research Aug. 22 in Las Vegas at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.

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 in weight after marriage and often small decreases in weight after divorce.

But these results may mask the fact that some people actually lose weight, while some stay the same and some have large weight increases, Qian said.

“We estimated the effects of marital transitions on the likelihood of weight gains or losses for different categories of people, allowing for the possibility that not everyone who goes through a marital transition has the same kind of experience,” Qian said.

Tumin and Qian used data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth ’79, a nationally representative sample of men and women aged 14 to 22 in 1979. The same people were surveyed every year up to 1994 and every other year since then.

In this study, the researchers used data on 10,071 people surveyed from 1986 to 2008 to determine weight gain in the two years following a marriage or divorce.

The NLSY included data on Body Mass Index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height.

The researchers separated people into four groups: those who had a BMI decrease of at least 1 kg/m2 (about 7 pounds for a person 5’10” tall) in the two-year period after a marital transition; those who had a small BMI gain (7-20 pounds for the 5’10” person); a large BMI gain (more than about 21 pounds); or no weight gain or loss (net change of less than 7 pounds).

The researchers took into account a wide variety of other factors that may influence weight gain or loss, including pregnancy for women, poverty, socioeconomic status and education.

Both men and women who married or divorced were more likely than never-married people to have a small weight gain in the two years following their marital transition.

“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,” Tumin said.

However, most other studies have suggested divorce actually leads to weight loss, at least in the first years after the marriage ends. Again, this may be because other studies have not separated people into age and gender groups, and only used average changes in weight, Tumin said.

The data in this study can’t reveal why men are more likely to have large weight gains after divorce, while marriage is more likely to cause large weight gains for women.

However, these results fit with other research on how marriage affects men and women.

“Married women often have a larger role around the house than men do, and they may have less time to exercise and stay fit than similar unmarried women,” Qian said.

“On the other hand, studies show that married men get a health benefit from marriage, and they lose that benefit once they get divorced, which may lead to their weight gain.”

The probability of weight gain become more pronounced for men and women who marry or divorce after age 30 and the changes only grow larger as people get older, the study found.

“From age 22 to 30, the effect of marital transitions on weight is not very clear,” Qian said.

“But both marriages and divorces increase the risk of weight changes from about age 30 to 50, and the effect is stronger at later ages.”

Tumin said that it may be that people settle into certain patterns of physical activity and diet over time. “As you get older, having a sudden change in your life like a marriage or a divorce is a bigger shock than it would have been when you were younger, and that can really impact your weight.”

The researchers noted that this study only looked at people for two years after a marital transition, and results may change over the years.

“This study really looks at the shock of a marital transition and how it affects weight,’ Tumin said.

Contact: Dmitry Tumin, Tumin.1@osu.edu
Zhenchao Qian, (614) 292-5452; Qian.26@osu.edu
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, (614) 292-8457; Grabmeier.1@osu.edu

Zhenchao Qian | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.osu.edu

Further reports about: BMI Large Hadron Collider weight change weight gain

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>