Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study finds that newlyweds who are satisfied with marriage are more likely to gain weight

04.04.2013
Findings challenge notion that quality relationships always benefit health, indicating that satisfied spouses gain weight over time because they may be less motivated to attract an alternative mate
On average, young newlyweds who are satisfied with their marriage gain weight in the early years after they exchange vows, putting them at increased risk for various health problems related to being overweight.

That is the finding of a new study on marital satisfaction and weight gain, according to psychologist Andrea L. Meltzer, lead researcher and an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

“On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time,” Meltzer said. “In contrast, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship tended to gain less weight over time.”

The study’s researchers said the findings challenge the long-held notion that quality relationships are always beneficial to one’s health. Instead, they said, the findings suggest that spouses who are satisfied in the marriage are less motivated to attract an alternative mate. As a result, satisfied spouses relax efforts to maintain their weight.

The article, “Marital satisfaction predicts weight gain in early marriage,” is published online in the scientific journal Health Psychology at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23477578.
The study was based on data from 169 first-married newlywed couples whose marital satisfaction and weight were tracked over the course of four years.

Marriage associated with weight gain; divorce associated with weight loss
Previous psychological research has established that marriage is associated with weight gain and that divorce is associated with weight loss. But the role of marital satisfaction in those changes in weight is less clear, Meltzer said.

Previous research also has demonstrated that marital satisfaction is associated with health maintenance behaviors, she said.

“For example, studies have found that satisfied couples are more likely to take medications on time and schedule annual physicals,” Meltzer said. “Yet the role of marital satisfaction and actual health is less clear.”

Meltzer set out to examine the association between marital satisfaction and changes in weight over time.

For four years, the newlyweds reported twice a year on their marital satisfaction and steps toward divorce. They also reported their height and weight, which was used to calculate their body mass indices.

Focus on maintaining weight is more about appearance than health?
Spouses who were less happy in their marriage were more likely to consider leaving their partner, Meltzer said, and on average gained less weight over time.

“So these findings suggest that people perhaps are thinking about their weight in terms of appearance rather than health,” she said.

The study suggests young couples should be educated and encouraged to think about their weight as a factor of maintaining their health.

“We know that weight gain can be associated with a variety of negative health consequences, for example diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Meltzer said. “By focusing more on weight in terms of health implications as opposed to appearance implications, satisfied couples may be able to avoid potentially unhealthy weight gain over time in their marriages.”

Besides Meltzer, co-authors are James K. McNulty, Florida State University; Sara A. Novak, Hofstra University; Emily A. Butler, University of Arizona; and Benjamin R. Karney, University of California, Los Angeles.

The research was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health; the Fetzer Institute; and the National Institute of Child Health and Development. — Margaret Allen

Follow SMUResearch.com on Twitter.

For more information, www.smuresearch.com.

SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information see www.smu.edu.

SMU has an uplink facility located on campus for live TV, radio, or online interviews. To speak with an SMU expert or book an SMU guest in the studio, call SMU News & Communications at 214-768-7650.

Margaret Allen | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.smu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Real-time feedback helps save energy and water
08.02.2017 | Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg

nachricht The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

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: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientists reach back in time to discover some of the most power-packed galaxies

28.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nano 'sandwich' offers unique properties

28.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery

28.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>