Researches at UNC found that marriage may make you happy and healthy but fat as well. If you’ve been a loyal reader of the Healthcare Economist, however, you knew that already.
Jason Shafrin’s research on marriage and weight gain already showed that marriage leads to increased weight gain. In fact, the research demonstrated that one reason marriage causes weight gain is that individual who get married experience a decreased incentive to maintain their weight in order to attract a significant other (read the paper). These findings were also presented at the Western Economic Association International (WEAI) conference in Vancouver this June. Below is an abstract of the paper:
Married individuals weigh more on average than non-married individuals. We suggest that exiting the dating market decreases ones incentive to maintain their appearance and leads to an increase in body weight. We hypothesize that it is most difficult for individuals to exit a traditional marriage, and easiest for individuals to exit if the couple is cohabitating but not legally married. Using a 14-year panel data set, we test whether or not the ease of exiting a domestic relationship affects weight gain. For men, we find that the type of domestic relationship has little impact on weight gain. For women, however, marriage leads to a 2.4 kg weight gain compared to cohabitating.