Do Women Actually Lose Weight After Divorce?

  • By:David Bate

Divorce is a trying time for plenty of individuals, which can lead to an assumption that divorce is a mentally and emotionally draining endeavor that produces few, if any, benefits. The reality of divorce could not be more different.

For many spouses, divorce is greatly needed refresher that provides renewed optimism and an increased focus on living a healthier life. Apparently, this is particularly true for women after a divorce, as recent research reveals that women tend to lose weight after a divorce.

While the headline may seem preposterous, a study published by the Journal of Women’s Health followed more than 79,000 U.S. women aged 50 to 79 over a three-year period. What they discovered was women who divorced or separated after 50 were more likely to lose weight and increase their physical activity.

Married women, on the other hand, tended to gain weight during the course of the marriage, and married women also diet and exercise less as well. Dr. Randa Kutob, the senior study author, suggested that this weight gain could be due to a number of factors, citing eating together as a couple, not watching portion sizes and failing to place attention on their own health needs as reasons why married women could be gaining weight.

While the study revealed divorced women are more likely to watch their diet and live a healthier lifestyle, it is not all positive news from a health standpoint. The research also revealed that former smokers were more likely to go back to smoking after a divorce.

And, while the study did seem to show a clear correlation between a woman’s marital status and her weight, the study authors concede that no cause-and-effect relationship was found or revealed. Further, the study was three years in duration, so it is unclear whether these trends would hold up had the study continued for several more years.

Still, the takeaway here is that divorce can be just the thing a woman needs to reclaim her life and take positive steps toward living healthier and happier. This study reveals that whether a woman is happily married or happily divorced, it is just as important to maintain health and physical activity. That said, this particular study suggests divorced women over 50 tend to have more success in achieving these goals.

If you are considering a divorce and are similarly hopeful for a fresh start, contact a skilled Tampa family law firm today. It could be your first step to a healthier, happier life.


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Thanks to our friends and contributors from The McKinney Law Group for their insight into divorce practice.

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