The study, which was conducted by researchers at Central Queensland University in Australia, tracked data from more than 15,000 people over 10 years and found that on average, those in couples weighed an average of 12.7 pounds more than those who weren't in a relationship. Even more telling, those with significant others gained, on average, roughly 3.9 pounds per year.
Of course, this all but confirms what many of us have suspected all along. After all, once in a relationship, many people don't feel the same pressure they did while single to keep up appearances and watch their weight, as the researchers themselves posited. "When couples don't need to look attractive and slim to attract a partner, they may feel more comfortable in eating more, or eating more foods high in fat and sugar," the study's lead author Stephanie Schoeppe told New Scientist.
The researchers also considered the fact that people in relationships tend to eat larger portion sizes while dining in a family-style setting, versus when eating alone. "While they may include more healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables and less fast food, people often consume larger portion sizes and more calories in the company of others than they do alone, resulting in increased energy intake," reports the New Scientist. They also suggested that couples, especially those living together, feel encouraged to stay in and chill, often while drinking together -- both of which can quite easily lead to packing on a few pounds.
Still, while they may weigh less, single folks tended to partake more in other unhealthy activities like cigarette smoking, binge drinking, and eating fast food.
So, just how hungry for a partner are you now?
h/t NYPost, New Scientist