Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Maybe You Do Meet Your Soulmate at the Gym...or Taco San Loco.

Study shows marriage stems from the waist

SOME fall for beautiful eyes while others are smitten with a smile.
But when it comes to deciding on true love, you might be better off looking at your intended's waistline.
Scientists have shown that we tend to marry partners with a similar level of body fat to our own.
Flab, or the lack of it, is just as important as background, class or age in determining who we choose to spend our lives with.
It is thought the phenomenon - known as assortative mating - could be a key factor in the obesity epidemic.
Children of overweight couples are likely to inherit genes that make them prone to putting on weight too, and so be more likely to have a weight problem themselves.
"If someone who is overweight or obese marries someone who is overweight or obese, their children could have a genetic disposition to obesity," researcher Diane Jackson said.
The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found body scans of 42 couples showed they shared similar levels of body fat.
The finding held true even when factors which can influence weight, such as age and class, were taken into account. The study also showed that rather than couples simply growing fat together, they actually started off that way.
"In the 1940s and 1950s, people mostly got married in their early 20s before they were overweight or obese," researcher Professor John Speakman said.
"So it would have been difficult for them to assortatively mate for body fatness because it would have been impossible to distinguish somebody who was thin from somebody who was thin but going to become fat.
"Nowadays, we choose partners and have children much later, but if we are going to become obese, on average we do so much younger.

"This makes it possible for potential partners to select each other on the basis of body fatness.
"What is currently unclear is how these associations come about. "Perhaps the social activities of the overweight and obese people coincide, making them more likely to meet partners who are also overweight or obese."
Recent research has shown that the company we keep has a huge effect on our weight. Those with fat friends are almost three times more likely to become obese themselves.


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