health

The 2 ways marriage could be affecting your health.

Image via iStock.

We’ll come clean: we’re pretty partial to a wedding here at The Glow. As well as giving you a chance to put your wedding pinterest board to good use (finally), it’s an important and exciting day that signals a new chapter in your life.

But according to a new study, it could also mark the start of the next chapter in your health – and not necessarily for the better.

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While people often joke about being able to “let themselves go” once they’ve tied the knot, research suggests there could actually be some truth to it.

1. Marriage affects your weight.

Although numerous studies have shown that married individuals enjoy better health than those who never marry, the new study published in Social Science and Medicine found that married people actually tended to have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who were single.

The researchers analysed data including the exercise routines, eating habits and weights of over 10,000 adults from nine different European countries, comparing relationship status to BMI Index.

They found that a single man tends to go from a BMI of 25.7 to 26.3 once married, while a women experiences a slightly smaller increase from 25.1 to 25.6. The average gain is around two kilos. (Post continues after gallery.)

According to the World Health Organisation, a normal BMI ranges from 18.5 to 25, although it varies based on your age.

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A high BMI that falls into the overweight or obese categories can put you at greater risk for chronic illnesses, including diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

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“Our findings show how social factors can impact health. In this case, that the institution of marriage and certain changes in behavior within that context are directly related to nutrition and body weight,” Ralph Hertwig, Director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin said in a statement.

While the BMI isn’t the most reliable method of gauging our overall health, the findings are definitely something to consider if you’re married and have noticed your health slip.

2. Putting a ring on it makes you eat better.

Interestingly, while married couples tended to weigh more, they’re more likely to eat better than singles.

The study found married individuals reported stronger preferences for organic, fair-trade and local food, and were less likely to buy fast food.

However while married men were more likely to buy organic food than single men, it doesn’t mean they’re healthier overall, with the study also revealing that taken men did less strenuous physical activities like sports. (Post continues after gallery.)

“Our findings indicate that couples are not healthier in every respect, as has previously been assumed,” says Jutta Mata, lead author of the study and Assistant Professor of Health Psychology at the University of Basel.

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So if you’ve tied the knot, you’re exercising less, yet eating better. Love is a strange beast.

Does this make you worried as a soon-to-be newlywed? If you’re married, has this happened to you?