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Entries in eating (6)


Dieting With Your Partner: Competition Is Futile

After gorging on a holiday meal and leftovers recently, the Consultant and I have completely obliterated our pre-holiday dieting goals. I generally do well with controlling my food portions, which is admittedly hard to do given the fact that food portion sizes have increased 700%1 inside and outside the home over the last 30 years. During the holidays, however, I give myself license to eat a little more because the extra serving of sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie is just too good. It is just once (or twice) a year, right? The holiday meal may not have been the real problem though; the main culprit for me was likely the larger portion sizes consumed on leftovers while family was still visiting.

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Was Cookie Monster Anxiously Attached?


The notion that women cope with relationship problems or breakups by eating is widespread. Films like Bridget Jones’s Diary perpetuate the stereotype that attacking a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey or devouring a bag of potato chips soothes a broken heart, or at least helps women deal with relationship troubles. But is there evidence that relationship problems actually lead women to eat more? Or is this a myth that Hollywood perpetuates?

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Sweets for My Sweet?

It’s that time of year again. I’ve barely recovered from Christmas, and yet the stores have pulled out all the Valentine’s Day decorations and cards. When I spot the shades of red and pink at my local Target, I find myself silently groaning. Another gift to buy. Already. Again. Really?

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Battle of the Bulge: When Your Partner Is Fatter or Thinner Than You Are

To determine how partners’ relative body weights affect their relationships, researchers collected data from couples of varying girth profiles (e.g., both healthy weight, both overweight, or mismatched weights). Couples responded about their daily conflict and the frequency with which they ate meals (and, presumably, Cheetos) together. Couples with an overweight woman and healthy-weight man experienced the greatest level of conflict; overweight male - healthy female couples had the lowest levels of conflict. Importantly, mismatched-weight couples who ate together more frequently reported more conflict, regardless of which partner was overweight (apparently, it’s a lot easier to be critical if you see what your partner eats).

Burke, T. J., Randall, A. K., Corkery, S. A., Young, V. J., & Butler, E. A. (in press, 2012). “You’re going to eat that?” Relationship processes and conflict among mixed-weight couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. doi: 10.1177/0265407512451199


"Honey…I am Worried about My Weight!"

Recently, a fellow SofR contributor wrote about a new study showing that living with a partner is associated with weight gain. Our research has found that understanding romantic partners’ weight status may require understanding how partners feel about their weight. Your weight may actually be affected by whether or not your partner is trying to lose weight.

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"Honey…Have I Gained Weight?"

A recent study suggests there is a connection between how long couples live together and the incidence of obesity and obesity-related behaviors. Specifically, women’s chances of becoming obese increase significantly after the first year of cohabitation; men’s chances are highest between the first and second year of shacking up. Possible contributing factors: increased socializing (e.g., lots of food), decrease desire to maintain weight (i.e., why bother?), and extra snuggle time (i.e., decreased physical activity).

The, N. S., & Gordon-Larsen, P. (2009). Entry into romantic partnership is associated with obesity. Obesity, 17(7), 1441-1447.