Overweight? Maybe your spouse is to blame — at least in part.
That’s the upshot of new research that shows married couples' lifestyle choices have a significant impact on both individuals’ obesity risks.
In fact, the University of Edinburgh researchers who conducted the study found that, by middle age choices made by couples — including those linked to diet and exercise — have a much greater impact on obesity risk than genetics or lifestyle factors they experienced growing up.
The study, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLOS Genetics, analyzed data provided by 20,000 people from Scottish families. The researchers compared people's family genetics and home environments in childhood and adulthood and compare them to measures linked to health and obesity.
"Although genetics accounts for a significant proportion of the variation between people, our study has shown that the environment you share with your partner in adulthood also influences whether you become obese and this is more important than your upbringing,” said lead researcher Chris Haley of the Medical Research Council's Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh.
“The findings also show that even people who come from families with a history of obesity can reduce their risk by changing their lifestyle habits."
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