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 WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

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: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Research reveals how order first appears in liquid crystals

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Space-like gravity weakens biochemical signals in muscle formation

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

NIST puts the optical microscope under the microscope to achieve atomic accuracy

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>