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Your Marriage And Your Weight

Marriage is supposed to be good for your health, but a new study from Switzerland shows that it may not be a panacea, at least where weight is concerned. Investigators from the University of Basel and Max Planck Institute for Human Development interviewed more than 10,000 men and women in 9 European countries to compare the relationship between marital status and body mass index (BMI). They found that married men and women actually have higher BMIs than single adults and “the differences between countries were surprisingly small.” However, the researchers also reported that married people were more likely to buy more unprocessed products and less convenience food, and that married men were more likely than single men to buy organic and fair trade food. Their final report suggests that married couples, although weighing a bit more, have healthier diets than single adults. The average BMI of single men was 25.7 compared to 26.3 for married men. The average for single women was 25.1 compared to 25.6 for married women. Those differences equal about 4.4 pounds, a small but meaningful difference, suggesting that at least in one key respect, marriage isn’t as healthy as had been assumed.