Weight Loss Changes How Couples Relate
Losing weight doesn’t just affect people’s health—it impacts their relationships, too. Researchers studied 21 couples in which only one partner lost weight. They asked the 42 participants to take an online relationship questionnaire without their partners’ involvement. Most participants reported positive results: greater discussion about the importance of healthy lifestyle choices, better communication between partners, an increase in shared activities, and both physical and emotional closeness. In many cases, the person who lost weight served as a healthy-living inspiration for the partner, who decided to make changes, too. But weight loss didn’t lead to a happy ending for all: Partners who resisted change responded negatively to their significant others’ weight loss. They felt as if their now-slimmer partners nagged too much about healthy living or became disapproving, and they often felt insecure and less intimate with their partners. The researchers say dieters should be aware of the ways losing weight may affect their relationship—and discuss these issues with their significant others to ensure that both partners feel supported during weight loss.
Source: Health Communication, published online Oct. 24, 2013