(Reuters Health) – When one-half of a couple embraces good health, there’s a higher likelihood that the other half will, too, a recent study suggests. “The concept is called the ripple effect and it means that weight loss interventions delivered to one spouse have unintended, but positive benefits on the other spouse,” said study coauthor Amy Gorin, Associate Professor in Psychological Sciences at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.

“That is, spouses that are not actively involved in (a diet) treatment also tend to lose weight.” Gorin and colleagues note in the journal Obesity that weight within couples tends to be proportionally equivalent between partners at the outset. Couples committed to health tend to enhance each other’s motivation and adherence to diet and exercise-related behaviors.

But the opposite is also true. If one partner becomes obese during the course of the relationship, there is a good chance the other will too, the authors note.

The new findings suggest, however, that just because one partner isn’t actively receiving weight loss guidance doesn’t necessarily mean he or she won’t reap the same rewards as the health-seeking significant other. Gorin’s team studied 128 co-habiting hetero and homosexual couples over a six-month period.

Most couples were married. Everyone in the study was overweight or obese. Read more from reuters.com…

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