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Studies in the past have shown that being married is good for you. Married couples have forever been shown to be healthier than singles. But in a new study, this long-held piece of wisdom is put to test as researchers find that married couples weigh more than their single counterparts.


Marriage is generally known to increase life expectancy and happiness levels in people. Study after study suggests that there is a strong correlation between marriage and living a long life. But this advantage comes with a catch: married people are also more likely than single people to be overweight.

According to a study that has been conducted across Europe, researchers have found that married couples on average eat better than singles, but weigh more and do significantly less sport. They also found that married men are more likely than single men to buy organic and fair trade food.

There is a contradiction here. Men in long-term relationships eat more consciously and have healthier diets than single men, which should convert into an overall healthier state of being, but they exercise a lot less, so overall, they end up being heavier.

The study took representative cross-sectional data from 10,226 respondents in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain and Britain. Results from all nine countries showed a positive correlation between couple’s marital status and their body mass index (BMI).

Social factors can impact health, and in this particular case, it could be that marriage – while it results in better eating habits and more stable emotional health – could be causing a paucity of time for people which is making it harder for them to exercise. This means that the earlier-held assumptions that married people are healthier than unmarried people could come under scrutiny and revision.

A high body mass index is indicative of an increased risk in chronic illnesses and diabetes, so all of us should aim to stay healthy, whether we’re married or not. If you’re single, pay particular attention to what you’re eating and try to cultivate a balanced diet. If you’re married, try to make time for daily exercise so that the love handles don’t go out of control.

In addition to this, it is important for people to constantly monitor their weight so that there is regular feedback on how you’re performing weight-wise. It’s always easier to correct a 250-300 gram increase in weight than to pull back five or six kilos of unchecked weight gain.

Jason Lee

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