Researchers asked almost 2,650 people who were married or in long-term “marriage-like” relationships to rate their level of marital support and strain, as well as the overall quality of their partnership. The study then tracked the weight of the participants over the following nine years.
They found that the people who reported high levels of partnership quality and support gained less weight over the period, compared to those who rated their relationship as low quality.
For each level up on the self-reported support scale, participants gained 700 fewer grams and had a 22 percent lower risk of obesity.
The findings suggest that an exchange of rings is not a prerequisite for ongoing health, given that defacto couples are benefitted too, which researchers say reflects the power of all good relationships in one's life.
“Our study adds to the growing evidence that positive social relationship (not just marital relationship, but greater social integration and social support in general) may be related to a number of better health and well-being outcomes,” study co-author Ying Chen said.
BFFs we're looking at you.