The Maintenance Library - NYT: Study Says Women With Mate Get Heavier

01-04-2010, 07:23 PM
Interesting article in the New York Times about an Australian study that found, among women in their study group:

After adjusting for other variables, the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a partner, 15 if she had a partner but no baby, and only 11 pounds if she was childless with no partner. ... There is no reason to believe that having a partner causes metabolic changes, so the weight gain among childless women with partners was almost surely caused by altered behavior. Moreover, there was a steady weight gain among all women over the 10 years of the study.

Study Says Women With Mate Get Heavier (

Many of us have found that the crucial times for weight gain are life changes because we lose our comfortable routines, and certainly finding a partner and having a baby are huge life changes! Also, a lot of us have discovered how easy it is to have an "eating partner", when you give each other tacit permission to overeat unhealthy foods. Eating can be something that two people share together, especially two foodies. So the study's findings make sense to me.

Thinking about myself, I weighed about 170 pounds when I got married. I gained about 20 pounds when I was practicing law (stress!) and then ended up at 222 after Baby #1. After #2, I was parked solidly in the 250s and yoyo'ed up and down from that point for 18 years. So yeah, getting married and then having babies certainly were big markers for weight gain for me.

01-04-2010, 09:11 PM
I know it would be much easier if I had noone else to cook for. I could easily make a pot of soup and eat off it all week. dh and the kids - not so much. I am a foodie, but only if I get to cook for other people. Alone I would probably have a much sparser pantry and fridge.

Although kids have not affected me negatively - I gotta be around for them.

03-06-2010, 10:22 PM
It always astounds me when I realize that the difference for me between a minor weight problem and major obesity was actually about two years.

When I got married, I weighed 170. A year later, when I got pregnant, I weighed 195. After my first pregnancy, I weighed 230, which put me into plus size clothes. I stayed in that plus size range for the next 18 years....

It was like once I got that big, I had wandered into uncharted territory and had no idea how to find my way back.

03-06-2010, 11:06 PM
I gained a huge amount of weight after getting married and I can't blame it on babies (although I did have 4 miscarriages); emotional stress would likely be more truthful and a huge shift in what and how I ate -- trying to please DH and be the good wife. I was much slimmer and more active when single; ate much less and was much healthier too!

I think many men gain a lot of weight after marriage too though. BTW, I am slowly reverting back to my healthier single eating style; and DH is fine with that ... ;)