"We would expect that if you are overweight, you might feel bad," Markey said. "If you are overweight and in a relationship with someone thinner, you feel that much worse."
She also found that women who reported low relationship quality were likely to adopt unhealthy weight-management strategies, such as crash diets.
So what are newlyweds to do?
Health issues, including weight maintenance, are relationship issues, Markey stressed. Couples should talk about how to eat well and be physically active.
"These things should not be separated. If you love your partner, you should be involved and invested in his or her health," she said. "You should also care about maintaining your own health so that you are around to spend time with your partner."
Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
To learn more about healthy weight loss, visit American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
SOURCES: Andrea Meltzer, Ph.D., assistant professor, psychology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas; Charlotte Markey, Ph.D., associate professor, psychology, Rutgers University, Camden, N.J.; Jan. 18, 2013, presentation, Society for Personality and Social Psychology annual meeting, New Orleans
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