Mail Online: Happy marriage can be heavy going — smitten newlyweds pile on pounds

Meltzer, SMU, gain weight, satisfied couples

London’s Daily Mail newspaper covered the research of SMU psychologist Andrea L. Meltzer, who found that young couples who are satisfied with their marriage are more likely to gain weight, putting them at risk for various health problems associated with being overweight.

The article, “Why a happy marriage can be heavy going: Smitten newlyweds more likely to pile on the pounds,” was published April 4.

Meltzer, lead researcher on the study, is an assistant professor in the SMU Department of Psychology.

The study’s researchers said the findings challenge the long-held notion that quality relationships are always beneficial to one’s health. Instead, they said, the findings suggest that spouses who are satisfied in the marriage are less motivated to attract an alternative mate. As a result, satisfied spouses relax efforts to maintain their weight.

The article, “Marital satisfaction predicts weight gain in early marriage,” is published online in the scientific journal Health Psychology at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23477578.

The study was based on data from 169 first-married newlywed couples whose marital satisfaction and weight were tracked over the course of four years.

Read the Mail article.

EXCERPT:

Mail Online
A happy marriage can lead to a couple putting on weight, according to a study.
Contented newlyweds are more likely to put on the pounds due to being less motivated to attract an alternative mate, say US researchers who tracked the marital satisfaction and weight of 169 couples over four years.

Psychologist Andrea L Meltzer, who led the study, said: ‘On average, spouses who were more satisfied with their marriage were less likely to consider leaving their marriage, and they gained more weight over time.

‘In contrast, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship tended to gain less weight over time.’
The researchers, from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, said the findings challenged the standard belief that quality relationships were beneficial to health.

Read the Mail article.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools. For more information see www.smu.edu.

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