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Obesity and Marriage

June 21, 2007

Marriage may be a risk factor for obesity.


Marriage weighing you down? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Couples who shack up risk seeing their weight ratchet up. That’s according to epidemiologist Penny Gordon-Larsen and student Natalie The of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They found that couples who are married or just living together are more likely to have one or both partners be obese than couples who are just dating. The says there may be something about living together that promotes obesity—like more time demands, or more food around. Or people might just pick partners who share their tendencies.

NATALIE THE (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill):
So maybe, you know, if I’m sedentary, I like also spending time with someone who wants to watch TV or watch movies as opposed to someone who wants to go out and run.

Whatever the reason, the finding suggests that people who want to make lifestyle changes would do well to convince their partners to join them. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.