Stay single if you want to stay svelte. That is the subtext of a recent study to be published in the February issue of "The American Journal of Preventive Medicine." The researchers were actually trying to ascertain how much weight gain in early adulthood a woman could blame on pregnancy. What they found out tells us a lot about the impact of settling down as opposed to playing around.
"Any woman who has ever lived with a man knows they eat a lot," says Manhattan nutritionist, Dr. Jana Klauer. She then goes on to explain that women frequently pick up the eating habits of their mates in terms of both choices and portions. Unfortunately, one size does not fit all. "In addition, we tend to eat more when we are with others than when we are alone," she adds. In other words two have more appetite than one.
The study looked at about 6-thousand Australian women over a period of ten years. The single women with no child gained 11 pounds. The women with partners, but no child gained 15 pounds. The women with partners and a child gained 20 pounds. Interestingly, additional children did not appear to tip the scales further.
It may be a frightening prospect for that dainty bride to imagine the walk down the aisle will make her 20 pounds heavier after decade of domestic bliss. In fact, the researchers involved in the study concluded women thinking of getting married or becoming pregnant should be informed of preventive measure to combat expected weight gain.
It's no secret couples settle down, take each other for granted and enjoy a different kind of social life that may be more sedentary. Work, kids, home frequently leave little time for exercise, accelerating middle-age spread to catch 25 and 35 year-olds.
Unfortunately, even if just one family member is overweight it can significantly increase the weight gain chances for other family members. Children mimic parents. Siblings mimic each other.
A lean diet and regular exercise are basic and essential according to Dr. Klauer. Pregnancy is not a license to stuff your face. Moving in with your boyfriend is not a reason to trade your skinny jeans for relaxed fit. His six-pack should be above the belt, not in the refrigerator.
Thinking about these things before popping the question or buying the ring is not very romantic or sexy, but it is food for thought regarding your future together. How will you handle weight gain, yours or your honey's? Love may be blind, but the scale isn't.
(If you want to read more of my stories or check out Gossip Gram, go to www.nbcnewyork.com)