NEWS DESK: Love might be blind, but it could also be fattening, scientists claim, reported The Independent.
Newlyweds gain an average of four to five pounds within the first year of marriage, explains Dr Catherine Hankey, a senior lecturer in nutrition at the University of Glasgow.
Some couples can gain up to three or four pounds in as little as three months if they are also living together, she adds.
This could be because mealtimes become central to co-habitating couples, who may encourage one another to eat more and subsequently move less.
“This is a huge cultural issue,” she told The Times.
“People moving in together really need to watch their weight.
“Becoming obese is bad for self-esteem and can damage relationships too.”
Hankey’s comments follow a number of scientific studies which have proven that a happy relationship is synonymous with piling on the pounds.
A 2013 study conducted by researchers at Southern Methodist University (SMU) found that the more satisfied newlyweds were in their marriages, the more weight they gained over a two-year period.
Contrastingly, couples who were less satisfied in their relationship maintained their size.
It’s not an effect that’s limited to new marriages either, weight gain is also common for couples who enter new relationships, nuptials or no nuptials.
This could be particularly prevalent for women, with one 2014 survey conducted by online pharmacy UKMedix revealing that 43 per cent of women gained weight in the first year of a new relationship.
The idea is that as married couples relax around one another, they no longer feel under pressure to pertain certain aesthetic standards.
They “let themselves go”, so to speak, because weight maintenance “is motivated primarily by the desire to attract a mate”, explains the SMU study, which was published in Health Psychology.
Meanwhile, there’s a whole host of studies which show that marital dysfunction – such as divorce or separation – can actually lead to weight loss.
Dubbed the “divorce diet”, slimming down is known to be a common side effect to broken marriages due to stress.
Once again, the effects are more prominent in women.