People in happy relationships tend to gain weight, studies find

If you’re in a romantic and happy relationship, chances are, you’ve been packing on the pounds since you and your partner got together.

Have you ever wondered why that happens?

Well, experts have discovered the likely culprit to this phenomenon, and you don’t even have to look far – it’s your relationship!


According to several studies, couples who are are happy with their marriage or relationship are more likely to gain weight.

The University of North Carolina conducted research involving the weight measurements of more than 8,000 people. Among its female participants, it was found that those who were married can gain, on average, 24 pounds during the first 5 to 6 years of their marriage.

Women who were living with their partners but haven’t tied the knot gained less – just 22 pounds – while those who were only dating but not cohabiting with their partners gained only 13 pounds.

As for the men, the study found that they gained weight when they transitioned from being single to being in a relationship. Those who live with their significant others for more than 2 years were twice as likely to gain over 25 pounds than men who lived separately from their partners.


Even though happy couples who are in long-term relationships manifest weight gain, it was also observed that their unhealthy habits were reduced, such as alcohol abuse and smoking. This shows that though they’re getting bigger, these couples are taking conscious steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

Senior Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Central Queensland University, Stephanie Schoeppe, and her team, pooled data from the annual Queensland Social Survey where 15,000 adults participated. The questions were aimed to find out if the people were married or single. It also looked into a number of lifestyle factors, such as if smoking habits, how frequently they exercised and consumed vegetables, and their BMIs.

Results revealed that couples adopt healthier lifestyles than most single people, but they still tend to be heavier than most of them.


A factor that may have caused this is shared meals. Though family meals were associated with more fruit and vegetable consumption, they were also linked to greater calorie consumption. In contrast, people who live alone were likely to eat less because they tend to skip meals or are too tired to cook.

Single people were also inclined to watch their weight more with the hopes of attracting a partner, as opposed to those who are already in a relationship. The latter are generally happier and lack the desire to attract other people because of the fact that they’ve already found someone special.


Even though weight is not the most important thing in the world, it is vital to examine whether it poses problems in your relationship. If it does, then it might be a good idea to discuss with your partner the ways in which you can both control your weight gain, such as incorporating more physical activities like walking, hiking, running, in your schedule.

Remember, a good relationship constitutes helping each other become the best, and that includes being in prime health so that you can go on more adventures together instead of worrying about that growing waistline.

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