Sad to be single this Valentine’s season? Back away from the ice cream—we’ve got good news for all you guy-less girls. According to this MayoClinic.com article, two new studies have shown that being in a relationship raises your risk for obesity—and the odds double after you get married!

Following the relationship status of around 7,000 young adults, the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health has found that both male and female participants, whether single or in a relationship, were prone to becoming overweight (although the risk was higher for women). However, women who were cohabiting or “living in” with a significant other increased their odds of obesity by 63 percent, as compared to the 30 percent increase faced by their male counterparts. The big whopper came after tying the knot: married women saw double the chances of excess weight gain at a massive 127 percent, with married men trailing at a lower but still substantial 107 percent.

In addition to this, a study conducted by the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health has confirmed that in a 10-year period, single women gained approximately 11 pounds, women with partners approximately 15 pounds, and women with partners and a baby approximately 20 pounds. Talk about baby weight!

It’s important to bear in mind that both studies were conducted at a primarily observational manner—which, in layman’s terms, simply means “watching and learning.” While variables for race, education, and age were kept constant among the participants, various lifestyle elements such as exercise, diet, and the desire keep fit were beyond researchers’ control. However, the sheer number of participants in the first study and the considerable length of time devoted to the second still validate, at least in part, the claims that relationships can make us quite rotund.

But don’t turn on the taps for self-pity just yet. The information from these studies do not suggest that unwanted weight gain is unpreventable. Plenty of women are able to stay toned and trim by making a conscious effort to be healthy, regardless of the ring on their finger (or lack thereof). Be responsible for your figure—and your overall well-being—by finding a long-term fitness regime that works for you. Whether you’re doing this for your special Valentine, or your own (single) female vanity, you’ll find that it’s worth it in the long run.

(Photo source: sxc.hu)

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