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Weight Gain after Divorce More Likely for Men

 Posted on February 10, 2015 in Divorce

Health, Divorce, Lombard Family Law AttorneyThere are countless factors that can contribute to an individual’s health, fitness, and overall well-being. Stress levels, sleep patterns, and daily routines have all been shown to have an impact on a person’s ability to stay healthy and achieve or maintain any weight-related goals he or she may have. Significant life events, such as the death of a loved one, a move across the country, or a career change may also have an effect as the person learns to adapt to a new situation. In the last few years, several teams of researchers have examined the impact of marriage and divorce, specifically as it relates to a weight gain or loss experienced by either partner.

One of the most prominent studies with such a focus was conducted by Dmitry Tumin, sociology doctoral student at Ohio State University, and Ohio State sociology professor Zhenchao Qian. Tumin and Qian studied data collected in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, a nationally representative research effort spanning nearly 30 years. The Ohio State team looked at more than 10,000 adults surveyed between 1986 and 2008 to find a weight-related trend within two years after a marriage or divorce.

While both marriage and divorce can contribute to weight gain, the study strongly suggested men carried a more significant risk of a large weight gain after divorce. Conversely, the research suggested that women are more at risk for a large weight gain after marriage. A large weight gain was defined by the study as an increase of more than 21 points. The study&s findings also indicated that the risk of a large gain after either marital transition was much more prominent for individuals over 30.

"From age 22 to 30, the effect of marital transitions on weight is not very clear," Qian notes. "But both marriages and divorces increase the risk of weight changes from age 30 to 50 and the effect is stronger at later ages." He went on to suggest that men may be more likely to make healthier choices after marriage, which may become more difficult or take a lower priority after divorce. Women, however, may focus on their husbands or families and take on some less healthy habits after marriage, which are more likely to be reversed when her marriage ends.

Regardless of a person’s gender or marital situation, Qian agrees with health and wellness experts about the importance of weight awareness. "I think the takeaway message is that people need to be more conscious of changes in weight," he says. "Marriage is good for you, there’s plenty of literature to support that, but you still need to watch your weight."

Research studies such as this one can provide some idea of what can happen after a divorce, but a qualified divorce attorney can help you understand what to expect during the process. If you are considering divorce in Illinois, contact an experienced family law attorney in Arlington Heights at A. Traub & Associates today.

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