A study called "Marital satisfaction predicts weight gain in early marriage," publishedin 2013 in the Health Psychology journal, was conducted to prove or disprove the possibleconnection between satisfaction in marriage and weight gain.The results prove a positive correlation between the two. After following a group of newlywed couples for four years, researchers found satisfied newlyweds tend to gain weight while less satisfied couples do not.

All obvious outside factors were taken into account during this study.

Lead researcher Andrea Meltzer commented on these findings in the Healthday News article, "Happy in Marriage, Heavier on the Scale?", and explained that these results held true even when considering other factors that may have influenced weight gain, such as pregnancy. Gender was also accounted for and the results demonstrated weight gain in both males and females.

Health vs. appearance

The study was a test against the "health regulation model" and the "mating market model." The difference between the two is a matter of perspective; the "health regulation model" proposes that good relationships encourage healthy living and constant monitoring of health.

However, the "mating market model" proposes that monitoring ones health is influenced predominantly by the desire to attract a mate. The results support the "mating market model," showing spouses tend to relax control over weight monitoring since a mate has been found.

Charlotte Markey, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University in New Jersey, points out to Healthday News the sense of it.

Those couples who are less satisfied in their marriage may want to stay looking good to find a new partner if divorce is around the corner. Those satisfied in their marriage may slack off on their appearance, feeling comfortable and accepted by their partner.

But is satisfaction in marriage the only cause to weight gain?

Despite this information, these results do not prove a "cause-and-effect link," says Andrea Meltzer to Healthday News, so there may be more to the story.

As Charlotte Markey comments in the Healthday News article, "It is also possible that happily marriedcouples see each other more and eat together more." More eating or dining out can also account for the added pounds.

No data or information was collected after those four years of monitoring the married couples in this study. More research and knowledge on this subject could tell how weight gain could effect the marriage long term, if it adds unnecessary stress to the relationship, or even if it leads to divorce down the road.

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