Nav: Home

Marriage makes men fatter, shows new research

June 21, 2017

Being married makes men gain weight, and the early days of fatherhood add to the problem, finds new research from the University of Bath's School of Management.

The study shows that married men have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than their non-married counterparts, adding approximately three pounds or 1.4kg to the scales.

There's no effect on male BMI if their wife becomes pregnant, but in the early years after childbirth men gain weight. It takes the period just before and after divorce to register a dip in male BMI.

The findings clear up the confusion of competing theories put forward by social scientists linking BMI to marital status. It confirms the idea that people who are single but seeking marriage have more incentive to stay fit and make more effort than those who are married.

It also supports the theory that marriage leads to more social occasions involving richer foods, or more regular meals for men; while putting paid to the idea that married couples have better physical health because of increased social support.

The study of heterosexual couple in the United States, between 1999 and 2013, used data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics and is published in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

Dr Joanna Syrda, Business Economist in the School of Management, said: "It's useful for individuals to understand which social factors may influence weight gain, especially common ones such as marriage and parenthood, so that they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being. For married men who want to avoid BMI increases that will mean being mindful of their own changing motivation, behaviour and eating habits.

"Given major public health concerns about obesity, understanding more about the social science factors that can cause weight fluctuation is important."
-end-
The impact of marriage and parenthood on male body mass index: Static and dynamic effects is published in Social Science & Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2017.05.033 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953617303349

Research by the School of Management was ranked 8th in the UK in the independently-assessed Research Excellence Framework. 89 per cent of their submitted case studies were deemed to have an outstanding or very considerable impact.

University of Bath

Related Marriage Articles:

Do unmarried women face shortages of partners in the US marriage market?
One explanation for declines in marriage is a shortage of economically-attractive men for unmarried women to marry.
Could marriage stave off dementia?
Dementia and marital status could be linked, according to a new Michigan State University study that found married people are less likely to experience dementia as they age.
Happy in marriage? Genetics may play a role
People fall in love for many reasons -- similar interests, physical attraction, and shared values among them.
Your genes could impact the quality of your marriage
The quality of your marriage could be affected by your genes, according to new research conducted at Binghamton University, State University of New York.
Ideal marriage partners drive Waorani warriors to war
In a new study, a team of researchers examined the social composition of raiding parties and their relationship to marriage alliances in an Amazonian tribal society, the Waorani of Ecuador.
Is student debt keeping Americans away from marriage?
Having a student loan could influence whether America's young adults first union after college is marriage or cohabitation.
Recent trends of marriage in Iran
Data about marriages in Iran points to the declining number of formal (arranged) marriages in recent decades despite strong cultural and religious traditions favoring such marriages.
Marriage name game: What kind of guy would take his wife's last name?
The study looked at whether a man's level of education -- both his own and relative to his wife's -- influences the likelihood that he chooses a nontraditional surname in marriage.
Get a grip: What your hand strength says about your marriage prospects and mortality
Researchers found men with a stronger grip were more likely to be married than men with weaker grips.
'Marriage diversity' a must-have for rock bands to businesses
The rock n' roll lore says that once a bandmate gets married, the party's over for the group.
More Marriage News and Marriage Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.