Magazine PLOS One recently published a study conducted by the University of British Columbia, Canada, in which its authors concluded that women who do not have a stable partner or good friends may develop obesity.
Taking into account data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, the researchers analyzed the social ties of 28,238 adults aged 45 to 85 and how they are related to waist circumference, body mass index, and general obesity.
This is how they discovered that those women who were single, widowed, divorced, or separated were more likely to suffer from abdominal and general obesity. The same happened with those who lived alone and did not have monthly social activities they had the highest average waist size.
Men, on the other hand, were less likely to be obese if they lived alone and had a smaller social network.
“There is a lot of literature suggesting that marriage is a way to promote health for men and potentially less for women, so our results on marital status were somewhat surprising. The different types of social ties that we observed had a more consistent relationship with obesity in women. Those patterns in men were less obvious and sometimes seemed to even revert to what we saw in women, ”said lead researcher Annalijn Conklin.
The study did not investigate why these gender differences exist. However, Conklin suggests that the findings could be due in part to different gender roles and different societal expectations around them.