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Thinner Wives Make Happier Marriages

Thinner Wives Make Happier Marriages

Do you believe that marriages are happier when wives are thinner than their husbands? They are, according to a new study reported on by Discovery News, whereby researchers at the University of Tennessee studied the BMI (body mass index) of nearly 170 newlywed couples and their marital happiness over the couse of time.

The lead author, doctoral candidate at UT, Andrea Meltzer, said that they found “this effect initially on husbands’ satisfaction at the beginning of marriage…husbands were more satisfied at the time of marriage to the extent that their wives had a lower BMI than themselves.”

They also found that women who had a lower BMI than their husbands were quite a bit happier with their marriage over time–thinner wives make for happier husbands and wives.

“Wives are happier to the extent that their husbands are happy,” Meltzer explained. “If we were looking at another quality that was more important to women than men — say, economic resources — we might see opposite effects. Women might be more satisfied to the extent that their partners are making more money than they are.”

“This study is important because it demonstrates that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner. It’s not necessarily striving for thinness per se, but striving to be thinner than their partner,” Meltzer said.

“Couples are more satisfied to the extent that their partner is healthy,” Meltzer noted–and thinness is, on average, more correlates with better health than being overweight or obese.

The study was published in the July issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science.

What do you think? Do you agree with any of this? Leave a comment…


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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


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11:33PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

I would love to read more about this

11:30PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013


11:29PM PDT on Apr 12, 2013


3:24PM PDT on Apr 8, 2013

it's amazing to me that the researchers are so essentially biased - why did they not focus on how fat husbands make wives unhappy?
the social focus on women and their weight is ridiculous, and this kind of "science" is simply the reporting of that bias.
being overweight is unhealthy, but constantly focusing on the body of only one sex is destructive - and it teaches men that women are about their appearance.

10:21AM PDT on Apr 8, 2013


4:39AM PDT on Apr 4, 2013


5:52PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

This married woman Ive known for 24 years says it matters, anecdotally I must agree

5:51PM PDT on Apr 3, 2013

Be concerned with greatness not weightness

2:55AM PDT on Mar 28, 2013

Thank you :)

8:25AM PDT on Mar 16, 2013

When you are slimmer, eat healthy food, and exercise regularily, you have more energy under the sheets :P

It's as simple as that :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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