Women's Health

Divorced Women Lose Weight

Want to lose a few pounds? Lose your husband. Researchers at the University of Arizona have determined that, at least for post-menopausal women, those who get divorced are more likely to lose weight than those who stay married. A U of Arizona news release reports that, over a three year period, the researchers looked at postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 who fell into one of four groups: those who went from single to married or in a self-defined marriage-like relationship over the course of three years; those who started out married but went through a separation or divorce; and those whose marital status did not change over the three-year period (they either started out and remained married or started out and remained unmarried). Here’s what they found: All of the women who started the study unmarried saw some weight gain over the three-year period. Those who went from unmarried to married gained slightly more weight than those who remained single — on the order of two or more additional pounds than their unmarried counterparts. When researchers compared women who stayed married throughout the duration of the study to those who went from married to divorced or separated, they found that divorce was associated with weight loss and an increase in physical activity. Both groups of women — those who remained single and those who married — saw a decrease in diastolic blood pressure, but the decrease was greater for women who remained unmarried. The unmarried women also drank less alcohol than those who wed.

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