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Married Couples Fatter than Singles


According to a 2004 Centers for Disease Control study titled “Marital Status and Health,” married couples are less physically inactive than single, divorced, and widowed people. The bad news is more husbands and wives are overweight and obese compared to those who have never married, or are widowed or living with a partner.

One reason could be that married people have more relaxed attitudes in terms of body image, whereas singles may view themselves as part of the “marriage market” and will go to greater lengths to say fit, says Robyn McGee author of Hungry for More: A Keeping it Real Guide for Black Women on Weight and Body Image.

“Despite the cultural factors that can contribute to a couple’s weight problems, some women particularly, feel enormous pressure and prejudice from both inside and outside the home about gaining weight,” explains McGee. For example Karoline, a Los Angeles high school teacher says she hates to look at “the skinny girl” in her wedding photos. Other women admitted to feeling ashamed of their heavier bodies and have lost interest in having sex now that they have put on extra pounds. Even though being overweight does not automatically equal poor health, carrying extra pounds often can lead to physical dangers.

“When diabetes or hypertension hits home, weight becomes a critical issue that affects the entire household,” writes McGee. “The whole family may have to adjust to mom’s or dad’s new aches and pains, stress headaches and fatigue, short tempers and high anxiety, frequent doctor’s appointments, money spent on new medications, revolving diets, swearing off salt and sweets, and trying to remain positive in the face of a serious health concern.”



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