The many benefits of being in a relationship are, of course, well documented. You’ve always got someone to rub your shoulders at the end of the long day, there’s another pay packet to split the bills with, you never get cold toes in bed…
But apparently there’s one downside – well, at least one – to being loved up.
According to a new study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia, that old wives’ tale that being in a relationship makes you put on weight is all too true.
In the extensive study, researchers analysed a decade’s worth of data from over 15,000 people and found that couples in happy relationships weighed an average of 5.8kg more than their single counterparts.
What’s more, they also discovered that those coupled-up had an average weight gain of 1.8kg per year.
“Marriage (or de-facto relationships) comes with spousal obligations such as regular family meals,” the researchers said.
“While they may include more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and less fast food, people often consume larger portion sizes and more calories in the company of others than they do alone, resulting in increased energy intake.”
The study continued to explain: “Marriage and cohabiting also carry the potential for encouraging unhealthy behaviours, as couples often perform behaviours like eating, watching TV, and drinking alcohol together,” state the findings.
Participants were asked to answer questions about their lifestyle choices, such as how active they were, how much fast food they ate and how much TV they tended to watch.
The researchers did find that couples tend to eat more fruit and veg, and are less likely to smoke or drink to excess, but it did suggest that people in relationships may feel they no longer need to watch their weight because they’re no longer on the prowl for a mate.
Lead author Dr Stephanie Schoeppe told New Scientist magazine: “When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more, or eating more foods high in fat and sugar.”
When you’ve been dating someone for a while, you don’t really have an incentive to go the gym anymore because you already have someone who’ll sleep with you, and ordering takeout and downing two bottles of wine together while binge watching Netflix sounds better than going out and being active… and before you know it, boom! Ten extra pounds.