In Sickness and in Health

Marriage can do many things to a person, but if you have a history of depression, it can significantly increase your weight. Research from Ohio State University […]

Marriage can do many things to a person, but if you have a history of depression, it can significantly increase your weight.

Research from Ohio State University shows that past depression might make you vulnerable to gaining almost a stone a year in weight from spousal tension. The average study participant burned 118 calories fewer, after a 930 calorie meal preceding an argument, if they had previously suffered from depression. That’s like eating an extra finger of Twix every time you have have a post-dinner disagreement. The story gets even worse, with affected participants exhibiting higher levels of insulin and elevated triglycerides. Comparatively higher insulin levels might represent insulin resistance, which can become chronic in the form of diabetes type 2. These levels, coupled with elevated triglycerides, indicate significant metabolic impairment for some of the participants of this study.

The nature of marriage, where couples regularly eat more than just one meal together a day, reveals the inadequacy of this study to accurately predict the scale of its health implications. The research considered one post-meal-argument per day, so couples who eat and argue more regularly might be susceptible to more regular metabolic problems. As well as exposing a link between past depression, weight gain and marital tension, this study highlights the serious ways in which your psychological health and social environment can affect the physiology of your body.

Katherine Hignett

About Katherine Hignett

Philosophy graduate, medical anthropology student.