Both divorce and marriage linked to weight gain

By Andrea Warmington

While women are more likely to put on weight after getting hitched, men tend to pack on the pounds when they are ditched. File photo / Thinkstock
While women are more likely to put on weight after getting hitched, men tend to pack on the pounds when they are ditched. File photo / Thinkstock

It's often said marriage makes you fat - but a new study has revealed that divorce can, too.

Researchers at the Ohio State University examined weight loss and gain in men and women in the two years after either getting married or getting divorced.

They found a distinct difference between the sexes - while women were more likely to put on weight after getting hitched, men tended to pack on the pounds when they were ditched.

Study co-author Zhenchao Qian suggested a possible explanation for the results was married women tended to have a larger role around the house than unmarried women, and may have less time to exercise.

On the other hand, said Qian, studies show that married men get a health benefit from marriage.

"They lose that benefit once they get divorced, which may lead to their weight gain."

Qian said the weight gain could in some cases be big enough to pose a health risk.

The study of over 10 000 people was based on the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, in which the same people were surveyed every year up to 1994 and every other year since then.

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

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