Study: Get That College Degree Before You Get Married, Or Risk Becoming Obese



Recently, a bunch of researchers from a bunch of universities (North Carolina, Colorado and Alabama at Birmingham, to be exact) published some findings in the Journal of Heath and Social Behavior that laid out a link they had noticed between marriage, college degrees, and weight gain.

Namely, they have declared that if you tie the knot before landing that four-year degree, you are 65 percent more likely to become obese once you are officially hitched.

The researchers started tracking some 14,000 people in 1995 from the ages of 11 to 19, and stopped about 13 years later, once the group had reached the average age of 28. They interviewed them, kept track of their education, and measured their body mass index the whole way. They found that although a college education is normally associated with lower levels of obesity, the data showed that if the college education didn’t happen before the participants got married, that rule didn’t apply.

Then they offered a theory:

“People who earn a college degree before getting married are more likely to navigate the changes associated with marriage without shortchanging their health,” {the study’s lead author Richard Allen Miech, a research professor at the University of Michigan} said. “On average, the initial transition into married life is associated with weight gain, as individualistic exercise tends to drop off and food consumption increases. However, new spouses who graduated from college before getting married typically earn more money than those who did not and can invest in their health by purchasing such things as a gym subscription or healthier, more expensive foods.”

The authors also pointed out that people who wrap up their college degree before tying the knot are more likely to have solidly developed problem-solving skills that can help them not stress-eat out of control and completely drop exercise from their lives as they adjust to all the crazy changes married life can bring. So if you happened to have met your spouse in college? Well, sounds like you’re doubly lucky.

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RELATED: Study: Married People Get Fat and Live a Long Time 

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