Being in a relationship can be good for your health, but it’s not always the best on your body. A new study shows that having a long-term partner can leave you likely to pack on the pounds.
The study, conducted by researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia, tracked more than 15,000 people over 10 years. On average, those who identified as part of a couple weighed 12.7 pounds more than those who were single. Furthermore, those with serious partners gained, on average, about 3.9 pounds per year!
Of course, this study confirms what many of us have experienced throughout our lives. Once you’re comfortable, you may feel less pressure to keep up appearances and watch your weight as closely as you did when you were single.
“When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortably eating more foods high in fat and sugar,” the study’s lead author Stephanie Schoeppe told New Scientist.
Also to blame for the extra bulge, is the fact that portion sizes time to increase when eating with others. People in relationships tend to dine more often in a family-style setting.
Finally, the study also suggests that couples living together also feel content staying in — often times drinking — which of course can lead to weight gain.
Still, it’s not like single folks are off the hook. Those not in relationships are more likely to partake in unhealthy activities like smoking cigarettes, binge drinking, and eating fast food.
So the best thing you can do is just be aware of the health hazards of either romantic situation and adjust accordingly.