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3 January 2005
Marriage Break-Up Bad For Men's Health
by George Atkinson

An article in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests that men seem to stop trying when they remarry, putting on weight and cutting down on exercise. But the researchers say that overall, remarriage is good for men's diets, their vegetable intake is increased and their alcohol consumption is reduced. The researchers say this was particularly true in younger men. The research was based on a long-term study of 40,000 men between 40 and 75 who worked in the health care sector. The men were surveyed every four years on their marital status, diet, and health.

Compared with men who remained widowed, divorced or separated, men who remarried put on weight and cut down on the amount of exercise they took. But their diet did improve, they ate more vegetables and lean poultry and cut down on sugary drinks. The effects were stronger in younger men who remarried after the loss of a spouse.

Compared with men who stayed married in any four year period, men whose wives died increased their alcohol consumption and decreased their vegetable intake. Marital break-up signified weight loss. On balance, the authors concluded that the break up of a marriage through death or divorce was bad for men's health, especially their diets.

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