I don’t know anyone who pigs out on carrot sticks after fighting with a partner. More likely it’s Haagen Dazs or chips.
Dropping 30 lbs. might not be as easy as mending fences, but research shows a correlation between making poor food choices and marital arguing.
Turns out that production of an appetite-increasing hormone called ghrelin is produced in the brain right after arguing with a partner. Researcheres are quick to add that while ghrelin doesn’t cause junk food eating after a fight, the correlation between the two is strong. That’s true for both sexes.
Couples who were at a healthy weight, or overweight, had higher levels of ghrelin right after arguments. For whatever reason the same didn’t hold for people whose BMI classified them as obese.
Put another way, the greater the expressed friction between partners the more they eat crummy food resulting in more weight gain. And gaining weight results in self-image problems which feeds junk food eating which increases anger and frustration which puts a partner in a bad mood for starters that only needs annoyance with the other partner to explode into an argument. And so it goes.
More reasons couples therapy is a good idea.
Kathe Skinner is a Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes working with distressed couples. She and her husband David teach a Couple Communication Workshop that teaches couples to take the heat out of disagreeing.
copyright, 2015 Being Heard, LLC