• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Being married takes a toll on the waist line

January 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Resolving to do more exercise is a wonderful idea, but new findings reveal you might want to make one more resolution: pay attention to what you're eating especially if you're married. A new study finds a lot of weighty issues for couples who take vows to stay together for life. After 15 years of marriage both Fay and Steve Greer say they've put on the pounds.

"Once you start and have kids there is not enough time to prepare healthy meals," said Mr. Greer. "You are always on the move."

A new women's health study from Australia reveals what we've all suspected: being married with children takes a toll on the waistline, especially if you're a woman.

"I think maybe the hussle and bussle of dealing with children every day they tend to forget about themselves," said Mrs. Greer.

"If you are single, you gain 11 pounds over 10 years. However, if you have a spouse or children you gain almost double that -- 20 pounds over 10 years," said Dr. Kurt Hong.

The executive director of the Huntington Center for Human Nutrition blames the hustle and bustle of family life, convenience of fast food and the economy.

"Because of economy people are working longer hours, under more stress, and the portion sizes at restaurants have gotten bigger," said Dr. Hong.

Researchers say women 18 to 33 are gaining more weight than women in their mother's generation. Experts say these could lead to more health problems in this generation.

"One of the biggest problems is not the actual number that is going up, but the metabolic disease associated with the weight gain," said Dr. Hong.

Dr. Hong says instead of making a New Year's resolution to get more exercise, families should put that energy toward planning and creating better meals that everyone can eat together.

"People don't realize that with exercise you can burn an extra 150 to 200 calories while it only takes a minute to destroy that work basically from the exercise," said Dr. Hong.

Again single people gained about 11 pounds in ten years. Dr. Hong says it's not healthy or natural to put on weight as you age. He says weight gain is a product of widely available food that's cheap and not a consequence of aging.