Happily Married AND Slightly Pudgy

swansIt was my wife’s fault! According to Medical Daily, reporting on the results of a study published in the journal Families, Systems, and Health, married men are 25 percent more likely to be overweight than single men. In other words, rather than that radical decrease in my athletic pursuits, and rather than that daily intake of my employee platter of Pizza Hut cheese bread sticks, it was the simple fact that I said “I do.” That was the reason for my post-wedding pudginess. I got married. It was my wife’s fault. (At least that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.)

Kidding aside, these researchers did find a link between being a married man and weight gain. This is interesting because typically it’s women who are implicated in the post-wedding pudginess. But according to this study, it’s guys that commonly pack on the pounds. 

One explanation for this is that guys develop a mindset that says, “Well, since I’m letting go of the dating market, I can let go of myself, too.” It makes sense, doesn’t it? We get too comfortable. We lose our edge. As our contentment increases, the study suggests, so does our pudginess.

So what about women? The researchers found no significant behavioral differences between married women and single woman, except for one: married women (unlike married men, apparently) ate breakfast 5 more times per week than their single counterparts. This suggests that although being married is a risk factor for weight gain in men, it’s actually a protective factor in married women. This is due to the increase in health-related behaviors, such as breakfast intake, which seems to fend off the lunch binge.

Does this mean, then, that as married guys. we need to eat a little more breakfast? Yeah, maybe. And does it also mean that we should eat that breakfast with our wives? Yeah, probably that, too.

tfp-logo300dpiMen’s weight gain notwithstanding, marriage isn’t a poor health factor overall, even for guys. In fact, several other recent studies have suggested just the opposite. Marriage has multiple health benefits both for men and women – a boosted immune system, more rapid post-operation recovery, and general stress reduction. So, although marriage can contribute to an expanding waistline, particularly for guys, and that can certainly be troubling, being married can also be a sign of a happy, thriving relationship.

So guys, there’s no need to be alarmed by the thought of developing that little “spare tire.” If you’re single, go ahead and get married. If you’re married, enjoy your relationship with your wife. Just remember: eat a few more breakfasts (to help fend off that binge lunch) and take a few more walks – just so that your contentment-pudginess doesn’t become contemptible-pudginess!

Happy relating,

James Baumgardner, LPC, CFLE – thefamilypro.com
Professional Counseling. Christian Perspective. Personal Care. 
(offices in Claremore and Owasso)
james-baumgardner

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