People who earn a college degree before getting married are less likely to become obese than those who graduate from college after getting married, says a study.
"People who get married before they earn a degree from a four-year college are about 65% more likely to become obese later than people who get married after college," said lead author Richard Allen Miech from the University of Michigan.
The study scanned the data of nearly 14,000 individuals from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), which began tracking a nationally representative sample of youth in 1995 when they were 11 to 19 years old.
The researchers compared the body mass indexes (BMIs) of the participants before and after they graduated from college, and also studied the timing of their marriages.
"People who earn a college degree before getting married are more likely to navigate the changes associated with marriage without short-changing their health," Miech said.
On average, the initial transition into married life is associated with weight gain, as individualistic exercise tends to drop off and food consumption increases, the study said.
"However, new spouses who graduated from college before getting married typically earn more money than those who did not and can invest in their health by purchasing things such as gym subscription or healthier, more expensive foods," researchers said.
The study was published in the Journal of Health and Social Behaviour.