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Marriage may weigh men down!

PTI | London |

Being married makes men gain weight, and the early days of fatherhood may lead to further pile up of extra kilos, a study has found.

The study shows that married men have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) than their non-married counterparts, adding about 1.4 kilogrammes to the scales.

There is no effect on a man's BMI if his wife becomes pregnant, but in the early years after childbirth men gain weight, according to researchers at the University of Bath in the UK.

It takes the period just before and after divorce to register a dip in male BMI.

The findings, published in the journal Social Science and Medicine, clear up the confusion of competing theories put forward by social scientists linking BMI to marital status.

It confirms the idea that people who are single but seek marriage have more incentive to stay fit and make more effort than those who are married.

It also supports the theory that marriage leads to more social occasions involving richer foods, or more regular meals for men; while putting paid to the idea that married couples have better physical health because of increased social support.

“It's useful for individuals to understand which social factors may influence weight gain, especially common ones such as marriage and parenthood, so that they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being,” said Joanna Syrda from University of Bath.

“For married men who want to avoid BMI increases that will mean being mindful of their own changing motivation, behaviour and eating habits,” Syrda said.

“Given major public health concerns about obesity, understanding more about the social science factors that can cause weight fluctuation is important,” she said.