Study: Fighting With Your Spouse Makes Your Relationship Hostile and You Obese
Just in case you needed more motivation to not fight with your person and generally do all you can to enter into what will be—and remain—a loving, giving, healthy marriage filled with lots of productive, open communication and love and warmth and rainbows and baby unicorns, science has something new to declare on this topic: Fighting with your spouse—especially when combined with a history of depression—can actually make you obese, because the resulting hostility can literally slow down your metabolism.
Meaning: You won’t just gain weight because you start eating your feelings in the form of Ben & Jerry’s—such relationship conditions can actually affect the way your body processes fat in the food you eat.
This data comes from researchers at the Ohio State University Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, who studied 43 couples who had been married for at least three years, having them fill out surveys about their marital satisfaction, mood/depression history, and all that jazz. Then, they fed them a fatty meal. After two hours, the researchers, like a bunch of fight-provoking Linda Richmans from “Coffee Talk,” left the couples alone with the request that they please discuss whatever topic the scientists had determined might raise issues.
After five more hours, the “hostile” partners burned had 118 less calories than the happy peeps, a rate that could equal about 12 pounds of weight gain a year. They also had higher levels of insulin and triglycerides. Researchers also pointed out that in real life, these results could even be elevated, given that this was all after only one meal.
It’s all about how bad chronic stress is for your health—with the goal being, of course, that your relationship is not ever a source of chronic stress. Which seems like a pretty good thing to strive for as you walk down that aisle.
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