July 15, 2009

TIME magazine highlights study on obesity and romantic partnership by Add Health investigators Natalie The and Penny Gordon-Larsen

Research on the development of obesity among dating, cohabitating, and married couples, by University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill nutritionists Natalie The and Penny Gordon-Larsen, was featured in TIME magazine.  The research utilized data from the Add Health Partner Sample, a subset of 1,507 romantic partners of respondents interviewed during Wave III of the study.

“The study, published in the July issue of Obesity, set out to determine how romantic relationships affect the tell-no-lies numbers on the scale.  Researchers tracked changes over a handful of years in the weight and relationship status of 6,949 individuals, and their findings don’t bode well for commitment.  Not only are married people more likely to become obese than those who are just dating, but young people who move in with a boyfriend or girlfriend tend to pack on the pounds too.

“’With women, we saw incremental risk after one year.  The longer she lived with a romantic partner, the more likely she was to keep putting on weight,’ says Gordon-Larsen.” (July 6, 2009. First comes love, then comes obesity? In TIME.)

To read the full article, click here.

Some media outlets may require free user registration or a subscription. Most articles are available at the URLs provided for a limited time, usually two weeks or less.

For information on accessing the Partner Sample data, send an e-mail to:

This article is based on research published as the following:

The, Natalie S., and Penny Gordon-Larsen. 2009. Entry Into Romantic Partnership Is Associated With Obesity. Obesity 17, no. 7: 1441-1447.