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Marriage benefits your waistline?

HealthBy Sunday World
Marriage benefits your waistline?

Marriage can ward off obesity, says a new Greek study.

Researchers from University Hospital AHEPA of Thessaloniki, Greece, looked at data from 150 overweight people from the country.

It's a commonly held belief that when you find yourself in a relationship you can get comfortable, and relax your views on staying slim. The latest study doesn't dispel this notion, finding that those who were married were more likely to fall into the overweight category, with a body mass index of between 30 and 35. BMI is determined by a person's height and weight. For adults a healthy BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9.

However, the research found that the single people were more likely to be obese, with BMI being over 35.

The study group was made up of 113 women and 40 men, with the average age being 47. Around 60 per cent were married.

A quarter of participants had a BMI of 30 to 35, and 33 per cent fell in the 35 to 40 category. The last 42 per cent had a BMI of more than 40.

"Marital status seems to influence development of obesity both in men and women," study authors said, when presenting their findings at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague.

"Self-perception of quality of life deteriorates as body weight increases, affecting the ability and/or the will of finding a partner. Although severely obese people are more likely to be unmarried, people in the other categories of obesity also have a high risk of being single."

One explanation researchers put forward is "the social and demographic characteristics of each person", including educational level, which can play a role in choosing a partner.

"Additionally, literature indicates that co-existence of depression and associated disorders with morbid obesity may further have an impact on the choice of remaining single," the authors added.

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