Dieting together leads to more success

Research suggests people who lose weight, follow a diet and get fit with their partner experience better results than when they go it alone.
3,700 couples aged 50 and older were the test subjects for the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and were shown to be three times more likely to achieve their goals when their partner joined them. The couples were all either cohabiting or married.
Two thirds of men and women became physically active when their partner did, but this decreased to just one quarter when their partner did not become physically active. It was also more common for someone to lose at least 5 per cent of their bodyweight if their partner also lost weight. If your partner’s weight remained the same then you were less likely to lose weight.
The authors of the study said: “We found that men and women are strongly influenced by their partner’s behaviour in relation to making health behaviour changes. Individuals whose partner’s behaviour became healthy were significantly more likely to improve their own behaviour than those with a partner who was always healthy. This suggests that people may be more successful in changing their behaviour if their partner does it with them.”
It is hoped that the results can be used to promote groups working together to cut down on unhealthy behaviours, and follow their diet. A doctor from the British Heart Foundation said: “This is an interesting study and reinforces the notion that your relationships play a key role in your health.”
The research also showed that those trying to give up smoking were much more likely to quit if their partner did too.

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