A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Arizona has found that older women who obtain a divorce tend to lose more weight than their counterparts who had never married, or stayed married. According to the Associate Professor of Family and Community Medicine, Randa Kutob, after a divorce, older women consciously engage in healthier behaviors. The research is to be published in the Journal of Women’s Health.
Researchers utilized data from the Women’s Health Initiative, a national database, specifically looking at postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79 over a three-year period. Researchers identified three specific groups of women. The first group went from single to married over the course of the three-year period, the second group went from married to separated or divorced, and the third group remained the same, either married or unmarried.
They tracked several symptoms of a person’s general health and well being, including weight, waist measurement, blood pressure, diet, exercise, smoking, and alcohol consumption. Interestingly, alcohol consumption stayed the same for women who stayed married or who divorced. However, women who divorced were more likely to pick up smoking; typically they were former smokers who picked up their old habit, not first-time tobacco users.
The women studied who remained unmarried tended to gain weight, which is not uncommon for women as they age; but those who went from unmarried to married gained more. It is almost a cliché to say that people gain a little weight when they get married. The cause is not entirely clear, but it may be that couples tend to sit down more often for regular, larger meals. Researchers noted that the weight gain among married women does not seem to be related to food choices, but to portion size.
Are Divorced Women Exercising More?
The short answer is yes; the women who were studied who had divorced partook in more physical activity. Women who remained single and women who divorced both saw a decrease in their blood pressure, although it was greater for women who remained single.
The results of this study do not challenge existing research on the long-term health benefits of marriage. However, the study is unique as it focuses exclusively on older women. Most researchers focus on newly married couples or younger people, and their findings could benefit postmenopausal women and their healthcare providers. In short, women who are divorced should be encouraged to take the opportunity to focus on their own health and wellness.
Woodbridge Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates for All Your Family Law Needs in New Jersey
Are you ready to start a new life and take time to focus on yourself? The decision to divorce is never an easy one, but there are often many factors that lead to the decision. The experienced Woodbridge divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates can help answer your questions about divorce in New Jersey. Call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online.
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