Joy comes in big packages

THE BEST EXERCISE Kids keep mothers on their toes all day   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: K.R. DEEPAK

Why is that only the bride or the young mother gains weight, and never the man?

Does a person transform intellectually post marriage? May be, may be not. But what certainly changes is how the woman looks — weight gain!

Actually, there are two phases to this size change — the ‘happiness' phase that lasts a few months after marriage and the ‘post-child bearing' phase.

So, is there a rational explanation why so many Indian women gain weight post wedding? “Change in lifestyle,” says Sangeetha. “The endless rounds of dining out, besides feasting on the spread at relatives' place,” says Lakshmi.

“It must be the effect of cooking — most girls don't know how to cook when they get married. And, when they begin to cook, they bathe it in ghee and cashewnut. And they end up eating what they make!” jokes Shankar, a newly wed.

“It's because of love and the feeling of getting settled in life,” says Anitha. “Post marriage, women no longer feel the need to look their best (think slim!), and start gobbling up all the fattening food they'd steadfastly resisted earlier,” says Gautham.

As for the second phase, the hormone apart, it could be the ‘left-over' factor. Over-enthusiastic mothers churn out generous portions of baby cereal or and end up polishing off the leftovers. “But, I wouldn't blame it on lack of exercise, because babies keep mothers on their toes round-the-clock,” says Anitha.

Scientific study

So, why don't men put on weight? Don't they feel happy and settled? There's scientific evidence to back this.

A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine says women living with a partner put on more weight than the singles. The study found that married women were two kg heavier than their unmarried counterparts, and these women become four kg heavier, after having a baby. Married women, apparently, eat unhealthier food because of their partners. And, they also have less time to exercise.

The research, conducted by Annette Dobson, Wendy Brown and Richard Hockey of the Queensland University in Australia, followed 6,000 women aged between 18 and 23 over a period of 10 years, ending 2006. The change doesn't happen to men because, they were eating unhealthy food even before marriage.

So, girls, watch out for these weighty issues when you take the plunge!