Weight gain isn’t unexpected during pregnancy. However,
according to recent research, the determining factor is not
pregnancy itself, but behavioral changes that occur after living as
a couple. If you’re pregnant or about to get married, you’re just
in time to prevent this from happening to you.
Women who live with a partner and have a child gain 8 pounds in ten years, while those without children gain around 4 pounds. This is demonstrated by a study of the University of Queensland, Australia, which analyzed the relationship between weight gain and motherhood. The study began in 1996 and was completed in 2006, and followed up 6,458 Australian women aged 18 to 23.
It’s Not Your Baby’s Fault
Although it’s true that women tend to gain weight after having a child, the study’s findings show that marriage and living as a couple are factors that play an important role in the process. “We found that women who had a child within the ten-year period of the study gained more weight (up to 18 pounds for a 130-pound woman) than those who didn’t have children. However, these differences could be attributed to married life,” explained the study leaders.
Researchers from the U.S. National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health recently reported that married life may increase the tendency to become obese during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Something as simple as sharing household seems to be one of the most influential factors.
Certainly, many activities you do as a couple, besides being fun, add many calories to your diet. A clear example is watching a movie or game together while sharing snacks, sweets and drinks. With the arrival of children, social life becomes more active too, and everybody knows that this involves more meals, snacks and desserts.
Prevention is Always Better
Far from discouraging women from marrying or having children, these investigations are especially useful for women who are planning to get married or wish to be mothers. With the knowledge that there is a tendency to gain weight, they now have the opportunity to anticipate and plan a healthy and active life.
Source: The study was conducted by researchers Wendy J. Brown, PhD, Richard Hockey, BSc, Annette J. Dobson, PhD, University of Queensland, and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
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