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Relationship spats could boost waistline

HealthBy Sunday World
Relationship spats could boost waistline

There's a lot to be said for keeping the peace, but sometimes relationships can't help but reach boiling point. While you might think the only consequence is a sulky other half and a few days of grovelling afterwards, researchers now claim an argument could negatively impact your waistline too.

Researchers at Ohio State University found that hostility within a couple can lead to a surge in ghrelin, also known as the hungry hormone. This hormone makes us more likely to crave junk food, hence the potential for weight gain.

To prove their theory, researchers asked couples to have a meal together and then discuss a conflict within their relationship. Afterwards they filled out questionnaires and had blood and saliva samples taken to test for a stress hormone.

From the results, it became apparent there was a link between marital issues and eating foods high in sugar, fat and salt.

Lead study author Lisa Jaremka made it clear there was no evidence to suggest arguing actually caused hunger, but that there was a definite correlation between the two.

Interestingly, this effect was only apparent in people of a normal weight or slightly overweight, not obese.

This isn't the first time weight gain has been linked to an unhappy relationship. Last year a study found angry exchanges with your partner can lead to changes in your fat metabolism, especially in people who have dealt with depression.

While it's unrealistic to expect your relationship to be plain sailing all the time, it could be worth paying attention to the way you deal with fallouts. Next time there's conflict, don't reach for comfort food to make yourself feel better. Instead, take some time to digest the issue and take your mind off it by reading, exercising or seeing friends. Then talk things through when everyone has calmed down.

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