Quick-Fix Diets Can Wreck Your Marriage ; American Psychological Association

By Cherry Norton Social Affairs Editor | The Independent (London, England), August 7, 2000 | Go to article overview
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Quick-Fix Diets Can Wreck Your Marriage ; American Psychological Association


Cherry Norton Social Affairs Editor, The Independent (London, England)


WOMEN WHO go on diets riskwrecking their marriages, it was claimed yesterday. Researchers have found that women who try to shed a few pounds are unwittingly damaging their closest relationships, because their husbands find it difficult to understand and cannot accept the sudden change in lifestyle.

In Britain, 90 per cent of women have been on a diet at some point in their lives, while only 20 per cent of men admit to having done so. People should be aware that the desire to lose weight can turn happy and good relationships into stressful marriages which end in the divorce courts, the researchers said.

While the pressure on women to be thin has never been greater, with many people resorting to fad diets, husbands are not so impressed by the anxiety and obsession that comes with dieting.

The researchers found that the key to a long and successful marriage was for a woman to ignore any concerns she had about her weight.

The authors, who presented their findings at the American Psychological Association's annual conference in Washington, said that in contrast, men dieting did not increase the chances of getting divorced.

"When men and women first meet they tend to be attracted to people of similar body size and frame," said Charlotte Markey, of the University of California, who is co-author of the research. "After a while that can change and either partner can feel under pressure to become the person they once were.

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