Lesbians Get Fat, Gay Men Stay Skinny, and New Wives Pack on the Pounds

image via Kimball Stock

 

It’s true. Women really do ‘let themselves go’ when they’re in a relationship.
I hate myself for saying it. I feel like a mean-spirited sexist, a traitor to my gender, a perpetuator of hateful stereotypes. But it’s undeniable, supported by mountains of data.

Women in committed relationships are far more likely to become obese as those who are merely dating.
The greater the commitment the greater the likelihood: it doubles with cohabitation and triples with marriage. Less so for men whose weight is relatively unaffected by living together and whose gain tends to taper off after a few pounds early in marriage.

Of course you’re getting fat.
Lean Cuisine and yogurt have become a thing of the single gal past. Now you’re part of a couple, cozying up on the couch with Netflix and a pizza, sharing a dessert when you go out for dinner, and spending indulgently lazy Sundays with bagels and the newspaper.

Gay or straight, fat or skinny, men prefer thinner partners.
Even beyond preference, The International Journal of Obesity reported that 73% of men claim discomfort or intolerance for dating the overweight. People who seek relationships with men—gay men and straight women—feel the most pressure to conform to the norms of attractiveness. And this plays out in the weight divide among couples. Put two judgmental men together in a gay couple, and you find the lowest obesity rates (14%). Take men out of the equation and you find the highest obesity rates (26%) for lesbian couples. Heterosexual couples tend to fall somewhere in the middle.

Chubbily ever after
You can look in the mirror all you want, but when you’re in a relationship, it’s all about the reflected gaze of your partner—who loves you.
Failing that, most overweight women lose about 15 pounds following a break-up.

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