THE BLOG

Married Men More Likely to Be Overweight: Here's How to Reverse the Trend

02/28/2014 09:54 am ET | Updated Apr 30, 2014

Did you know who you are married to, who you are dating or even who you are friends with can have a lot to do with your weight and health practices? The wedding world in general has shown me that there's lots of pressure on brides to take dangerous measures to lose weight and it's totally socially acceptable (gag). But now we're seeing new studies that show husbands are more likely to be overweight in general. Also not okay but seemingly socially accepted.

A large January 2014 study from the journal of Families, Systems and Health looked at "whether being in a committed relationship is protective for day-to-day health behaviors such as dietary patterns and physical activity." So here's what they found: Married men were more likely to be overweight or obese compared to their unmarried counterparts. Interestingly, they also found that physical activity and eating habits were unrelated to relationship status. Not what you would expect based on the results The take away is that findings are suggesting being married may be a risk factor for overweight/obesity in men... but my take is that it depends on who you're in a relationship with.

If you both make health a priority, and make it team approach, you can help each other develop life long healthy habits. Here are five ways you can start today:

  1. Schedule daily movement together. I hate to run. Hate. But hiking or walking around our town and snapping pictures? Totally in. For you and your partner, it could be swimming, biking or even canoeing. It's a great way to spend time away from screens and get on the move.
  2. Split meals when dining out. Restaurant portions are totally out of whack. They're too much meat or too much grain. Not enough veggies. Too much food, period! Have one person order a veggie-dense dish, the other order a regular dish, and split them to balance. Remember, you can always take it home for later.
  3. Learn to cook together. Cooking at home is way healthier for you and your wallet in the long run. Take classes together! You can find them in lots of places, from the bakery down the street to options on group deal websites.
  4. Go to the farmers market. Half the battle of staying healthy is stocking your house with healthy options. Get local. Get seasonal. Take advantage of the produce near you and find inspiration to cook dinner tonight together.
  5. Get organized. You're more likely to eat healthy foods when you can see them. Make healthy snacks readily available and store them in clear containers in the fridge, pre-sliced, pre-washed and easy to eat. Desserts? Packaged foods? Freeze the desserts or store packed foods in a bin in the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind.