There are many perks to being in a relationship – a guaranteed date for Valentine’s Day, someone to rub your feet after a hard day at work and not having to face being continually asked why you’re single by relatives at family functions.
However, it potentially does have its downsides.
According to a recent study, people who are romantically involved are more likely to gain weight than those who are single.
Researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia assessed more than 15,000 adults, nearly three quarters of whom were romantically attached, to determine whether a person’s relationship status can affect their ability to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The average age of the participants was 52 years old and there was an even split between men and women.
The researchers collated data from annual surveys that were conducted over a nine-year period from 2005 to 2014.
The team, led by Stephanie Schoeppe, discovered that people in relationships tended to follow healthier lifestyles.
Couples consumed a greater quantity of fruit and vegetables and avoided smoking, drinking too much alcohol and eating fast food.
However, interestingly their body mass indices were still higher than the single individuals.
Schoeppe has hypothesised that this could be down to a number of factors, such as feeling less pressure to look good and the impact of having children.
“When couples don’t need to look attractive and slim to attract partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more, or eating more foods high in fat and sugar,” she told New Scientist.
Furthermore, parents may be tempted to eat their children’s leftovers and snack foods, leading to an increase in weight gain.
Similarly, newlyweds are also at risk of gaining weight as they embark on married life.
According to a study published by the University of Glasgow, newlyweds gained an average of 4lb to 5lb in the first year of marriage.