Women weigh less husbands happier marriages

Women weigh less husbands happier marriages
Women weigh less husbands happier marriages. Most women know that losing a few pounds can do wonders for their self-confidence. But according to a new study, a woman's weight can have a significant impact on the happiness of her marriage too.

Researchers at the University of Tennessee found that both sexes were more content and satisfied in their marriages when the wife had a low body mass index (BMI) than her husband.

The study, which appears in the latest issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science, analysed the relationships of 169 newlywed couples over a four-year period. Size matters: Both sexes were more satisfied in their marriages when the wife had a low body mass index than her husband

Participants, who were all under 35, completed two questionnaires every six months.

It found that responses relating to happiness declined for all couples - but men who had a higher BMI than their wives were happier in their marriage than those who had the same or a lower BMI.

The trend went the same way for women too. Wives that were thinner than their husbands were happier than those that had higher BMIs.

But while men were happy from the start of the study and maintained their contentedness over time, women's happiness increased over the course of the study.

Relationship balance: Victoria Beckham has a lower BMI than her footballer husband David (right) and the slender Duchess of Cambridge with Prince William

The research found that the effect of the partners' relative weights even remained consistent when other factors, such as depression and household income, were taken into account.

The results of the study are supported by high-profile examples, such as Victoria and David Beckham, who have been married for over a decade, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who were together for eight years before they married in April this year.


Body mass index compares height in relation to weight, and is used to determine whether a person is over or underweight.

It was developed by Belgium statistician Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874), and is also known as the Quetelet Index.

It is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres squared.

The resulting figure is used to determine whether a person is of a healthy body weight.

BMI                WEIGHT STATUS
Below 18.5       Underweight
18.5-24.9          Normal
25-29.9            Overweight
30 and above   Obese

Andrea Meltzer, who lead the study, believes several factors that play into this trend.

She told ABC News: 'One idea is that attractiveness and weight are more important to men. That might be why we see this emerging at the beginning of the marriage for husbands, and their dissatisfaction might be affecting wives' satisfaction over time.'

She added that older couples were likely to be less affected by the BMI-happiness ratio than the younger couples she had studied.

'The effects of relative weight could definitely change over time,' she explained. 'As attractiveness plays less of a role, perhaps relative weight has less of an effect on satisfaction.'

Ms Meltzer was careful to warn that her results did not mean women actually had to be thin to have a happy marriage - it was relative weight that was important.

'There's a lot of pressure on women in our society to achieve an often unreachably small weight,' she said.

'The great take-home message from our study is that women of any size can be happy in their relationships with the right partner. It's relative weight that matters, not absolute weight. It's not that they have to be small.'

Source: ghananation