Interestingly, once men tie the knot they are more apt to “let themselves go” than women. Research has shown that it can actually increase obesity rates. According to an article from Business Insider, marriage has benefits, but it is really doing a number on men’s waistlines, affecting them more than women and more than their single counterparts. The reported study, published in the journal Families, Systems, & Health, used data from Project EAT that monitored the diet, physical activity, and weight status of approximately 2,300 young adults in the Midwest.
Of the young adults, about 35% were single or casually dating, 42% were in a committed relationship, and 23% were married. The concluding results suggest that married men were 25% more likely to be overweight or obese than men in committed relationships or single men. To clarify, the scientists identified “overweight” as having a body mass index over 25. Are you worried you or your partner might be letting yourself go? Here are three signs to look for.
1. Weight gain
This is one of the easier ones to spot. A study reported in the Daily Mail and commissioned by Lloydspharmacy found that men over the age of 40 begin to eat too much and cut back on their daily exercise routines, which causes them to put on weight. Being overweight is associated with Type-2 diabetes. Alison Freemantle, a diabetes expert at Lloydspharmacy, said, “Our research shows that many over-40s feel they’ve let themselves go and have regrets about putting on weight over the years — but they’re not necessarily making the link between being overweight and the risks of developing diabetes.” So not only are men letting themselves go, but they could be putting themselves at risk for developing Type-2 diabetes.
2. Disinterest in appearance
Another study commissioned by Benenden Health found that men lose interest in their appearance and keeping up with fashion trends at the ripe old age of 46. However, women appear to keep putting in the effort until around the age of 59 — a full 13 years longer than men. The study surveyed 2,000 men and women on their appearance and found that one-third of those surveyed were unhappy, and this contributed to low confidence levels in the way they look. Of those surveyed, 7 in 10 men reported not worrying about the way they look, while more than half said they don’t take any pride in their appearance.
Adding more insult to injury, another third of respondents said they had stopped caring about how much alcohol they drank and the type of food they ate, as well as any health implications in regards to their diet. In addition, men tend to let their appearance go a little over two years after they get married. A spokesperson for Benenden Health concludes that, “Our survey suggests that maintaining our physical well being into our later years simply becomes a lesser priority — influenced by wanting to relax in comfort and not have to keep up with trends.”
3. Drinking too much
According to a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, researchers have found that feeling any kind of stress in marriage can make people more vulnerable to depression. The study found that people who experience chronic stress in their marriages have “diminished enjoyment of positive experiences, as well as a higher incidence of depressive symptoms.” AlcoholRehab.com notes that when people are feeling depressed, they can end up turning to alcohol.
The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism says that binge drinking occurs when men consume five or more drinks in about two hour periods. The most common causes of binge drinking are depression, stress, and anxiety. If you or a loved one is feeling depressed, Mayo Clinic recommends seeking help from a professional, such as a medical doctor, a mental health provider, or a licensed counselor or psychologist.