Women Gain Weight After Marriage, Men After Divorce

Written by Laura Franco for YourTango.com

A recent study found that women have a tendency to gain a few pounds after tying the knot, while men are likely to do the same after divorce.

The study from Ohio State University focused on weight changes within a two-year span after a marriage or divorce and surveyed 10,000 people between 1986 and 2008. The research also found that people over 30 were more likely to gain weight around these major life events, possibly because they’ve already settled into certain patterns of diet and exercise.

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“Clearly, the effect of marital transitions on weight changes differs by gender,” said Dmitry Tumin, lead author of the study and a doctoral student of sociology. “Divorces for men and, to some extent, marriages for women promote weight gains that may be large enough to pose a health risk.”

The study didn’t determine exactly why men and women gain weight after these milestones, but researchers offered some suggestions:

  • Married women often take on a larger role in household duties than men, resulting in less time for exercise. Meanwhile, married men get a health boost during marriage but lose it once they get divorced (possible because of depression?), which leads to weight gain.
  • For both genders, “weight gain after a marriage begins or ends can be related to the sudden ‘shock’ it causes to one’s lifestyle.”

Interesting. It looks like women “let themselves go” after they’ve already landed a guy, while for men, it’s losing a partner that leads them to adopt a less-healthy lifestyle. Not particularly surprising, but it would be neat to find out the exact psychological underpinnings of these types of weight gain.

Did you gain weight after a major life event like your wedding or divorce?

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Study: Women Gain Weight After Marriage, Men After Divorce.

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Patricia H.
Patricia H.3 years ago


Duane B.
.3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Danuta Watola
Danuta Watola3 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Suzanne L.

I had not heard of this before but the "divorce diet" is common among women - i.e. their appetite goes thru' the floor and they lose a lot of weight after separation.

Elena T.
Elena Poensgen3 years ago

Thank you :)

Nils Lunde
PlsNoMessage se3 years ago


Robert O.
Robert O.3 years ago

Interesting. Thank you.

Nirvana Jaganath
Nirvana Jaganath3 years ago


Allison Robertson

I know a lot of men that turned to takeaway meals after divorce, and therefore gained a lot of weight. And I remeber being told that contentment makes you put on weight not necessarily just the marriage bit.

Monique R.
Monique R.3 years ago

I would tend to believe the explanation of a less-healthy lifestyle for men after a divorce.