Life After Divorce: Study Shows Men Gain More Weight Than Women

divorce weight gain, Rolling Meadows divorce lawyerWhile the feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, and depression often felt after a divorce are far from gender-biased, a new study suggests that men may be more prone to the resulting behaviors and symptoms. They may be more prone to excessive weight gain in the weeks, months, and even years following a divorce. However, the study did find that women were also at risk for weight gain and poor self-care. Understand these risks, its potential impact on your health, and how you may be able to protect yourself against them.

Weight Gain After Divorce in Both Men and Women

Published in Social Science and Medicine, the study tracked the dietary habits and weight gain of 11,577 participants between the ages of 40 and 80. At the beginning of that study, 89 percent of the men and 78 percent of the women were married, and by the second analysis that took place 3.5 years later, 2.4 percent of men and 4.5 percent of the women had been divorced, widowed, or separated.

At each interval of the study, researchers asked the participants to divulge what they ate and how much, giving them a choice of 11 fruits and 26 vegetables. Women did not have a significant change in diet, the authors said, but men consumed 25 percent fewer fruits and vegetables and had diets that were less varied after divorce. This, the study authors said, put men at higher risk for weight gain after a divorce.

Another recent study, conducted by researchers at Ohio University, complemented the results in finding that, while men and women were both at risk for weight gain after a divorce, men typically reported gaining more weight than women. They believed that this might be due, in part, to the fact that women are more likely to gain weight during the marriage than men, while men are actually more likely to lose weight during a marriage. As a result, men may be prone to excessive weight gain after divorce than women.

Potential Complications of Weight Gain and Poor Self-Care After Divorce 

While a small weight gain after divorce may not cause complications among those that are generally healthy, excessive weight gain can carry significant risks, including an increased risk for coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, stroke, gallstones, sleep apnea, and osteoarthritis. These risks are even further heightened for those that were already overweight or suffered from related or similar health complications.

Protecting Your Health after Divorce

If you are going through a divorce and are already beginning to struggle with feelings of sadness or depression, it is important that you first speak with your healthcare professional to determine if therapy, medication, or another treatment may be necessary. In addition, you can work to be more mindful of what you are eating and when. Exercise daily, even if it is a short walk, and reach out to your support system to protect yourself from deeper negative feelings and symptoms.

Reap the Benefits of a Skilled Divorce Lawyer

The experienced attorneys at Cosley Law Office have been helping clients dissolve their marriages for more than 20 years. Skilled and compassionate advocates, we understand the emotional and financial stress that often stem from a divorce. We work hard to make the process as smooth and seamless as possible by providing honest, responsive representation for your divorce. Schedule your free initial consultation with our Rolling Meadows divorce attorneys today by calling 847-253-3100.


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