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Weight Loss Has ‘Ripple Effect’ On Partner

Weight loss can be tough for anyone just starting out especially if you are alone and/or have genetic predispositions to obesity. However, working out with a partner is good for motivation and can increase your chances of success, but only if the both of you are committed.

 

Couple Workout

A new study found that weight loss has a ‘ripple effect’ on your parnter. Photo by Fitness Republic

A team of researchers from the University of Connecticut conducted a new study which found that losing weight has a ‘ripple effect’ on your significant other. In other words, if you are fully committed to losing weight then your partner will too. Conversely, if you are struggling with weight loss, your partner will also have the same outcome.

During the study that included 130 overweight or obese couples age 25 or order, researchers discovered when one member of a couple lost weight, it greatly raised the probability that the other partner would too — even if that partner was not actively participating in any weight loss program. Likewise, when one partner struggled to trim down, it made it more likely for the other person to have problems as well. Amy Gorin, a professor of behavioral psychology at the University of Connecticut and the lead author of a new study on these impacts, calls this the “ripple effect.”

Gorin put the couples into two groups. In one group, one partner joined Weight Watchers in which they received personal counseling and online tools to help them lose weight for six months. The partner in the other group only got a handout on exercise, healthy eating and weight management strategies.

After six months, over 33 percent of the untreated partners lost 3 percent or more of their beginning body weight, a number that dieticians regard as a sizeable benefit. These individuals did not participate in any weight loss program at all; only their partners.

With that being said, it does not matter if the partner who is trying to lose weight joins a weight loss program or not, as long as they are trying to lose weight is what counts. The main point is that anyone trying to lose weight, no matter what approach is taken, can benefit others in their lives.

Source: Gorin, A. A., Lenz, E. M., Cornelius, T., Huedo-Medina, T., Wojtanowski, A. C. and Foster, G. D. (2018), Randomized Controlled Trial Examining the Ripple Effect of a Nationally Available Weight Management Program on Untreated Spouses. Obesity. doi:10.1002/oby.22098

Leeman Taylor
B.S. Criminal Justice