But while women tend to gain weight after their wedding day, men are most affected by marital breakdown.
Both kinds of "marital transition" can act as "weight shocks" that put on the pounds, a study has found.
"Divorces for men and, to some extent, marriages for women promote weight gains that may be large enough to pose a health risk," said study leader Dmitry Tumin.
The likelihood of major weight gain after marriage or divorce increased most for people past the age of 30.
"For someone in their mid-20s there is not much difference in the probability of gaining weight between someone who just got married and someone who never married," said Mr Tumin, a doctoral student in sociology. "But later in life, there is much more of a difference."
Researchers used survey data on more than 10,000 people to investigate whether marriage and divorce led to weight gains or losses.
Both men and women who married or divorced were more likely than never-married individuals to experience a small level of weight gain after a "marital transition".
On the other hand, studies show that married men get a health benefit from marriage, and they lose that benefit once they get divorced, which may lead to their weight gain.
© 2011 Evening Times. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved
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