Satisfied Married Couples are More Likely to Gain Weight

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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Can marriage make a couple gain weight? That depends on how satisfied the couple is.

A recent Southern Methodist University study found when couples are more satisfied in their marriage, they are more likely to gain weight.

However, couples considering divorce (or even taking steps to separate) are more likely to lose weight.

Dr. Andrea Meltzer, assistant professor of psychology, and her co-authors followed 169 newlyweds for four years and checked in twice a year to evaluate each couple’s weight, height, marital satisfaction, stress and steps toward divorce.


“When couples are more satisfied in their

marriage, they are more likely to gain weight.”

Researchers found more satisfied couples gained more weight, even after controlling for factors like pregnancy.

“If you take one of those happy marriages that go on for 20, 30, 40 years, it could potentially become unhealthy,” Meltzer said.

Meltzer notes the initial weight gain in a happy marriage has more to do with individuals relaxing their need to be physically appealing rather than letting their health go.

“What I think is happening is that people are thinking about weight maintenance in terms of appearance as opposed to health,” she said.

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