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Weight loss can be catching for couples

Want to lose weight without the hassle of planning meals and conscious effort? The solution may be to have your partner get on board with a weight loss program. Last month we shared research stating the benefits of marriage and heart health; this month the trend continues to show that both partners benefit from weight loss when only one of the two engages in a weight loss program.

Researchers from the University of Connecticut observed 130 couples over six months. One person from each couple was enrolled in either a formal Weight Watchers style program or provided with an informal, self-guided instruction on how to lose weight. Interestingly, the untreated spouses in either program lost greater than or equal to 3% of their body weight at 6 months. The reason? Weight is known to be extremely interdependent among couples; meaning we usually pair off with others in the same weight range such as obese or normal levels and tend to lose and gain weight in tandem. In this case, scientists credit the ripple effect; a phenomenon where weight loss spreads within couples. The effect is well documented to contribute to 2-3% weight loss in a non-treated spouse as part of clinical weight loss such as bariatric surgery, however less formal and self-directed approaches have not been included until now. More research needs to be done to see if the benefit extends to others living in the household.

As you embark on your weight loss journey, try our Blackened Tuna with Banana Mango Chutney with Broiled Asparagus with Sesame Sauce. It’s filling and makes a lovely dinner for two.

Published March 1, 2018

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