A wife concerned about her husband’s health will do well to keep her weight in check. This following a study that found middle-aged men whose wives were obese could be at risk for diabetes.
A Danish study said men have as much as 21 percent risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if their wives were obese.
“Having an obese wife increases a man’s risk of diabetes over and above the effect of his own obesity level,” said Adam Hulman, of the Aarhus University in Denmark.
However, the same cannot be said if the situation was reversed. A woman whose husband is obese does not necessarily have an additional diabetes risk beyond that of her own obesity level, he said.
Based on their study, the researchers surmised that men sharing their wives’ poor eating habits and lack of exercise could be the cause of the increased risk.
This is the first study which looked at the sex-specific effect of spousal obesity on diabetes risk, the research team noted.
For the study, they looked at 3,650 men and 3,478 women aged 50 years old and above from a nationally representative sample beginning in 1998.
The participants were followed-up with an interview every two-and-half years, ending in 2015.
As to the results if the situation were reversed, the team found that obese men don’t seem to impact their wives’ health as much. The researchers suggested that it may be because women are more likely to cook their husbands’ meals or were more conscious of their appearance.
“Recognising shared risk between spouses may improve diabetes detection and motivate couples to increase collaborative efforts to eat more healthily and boost their activity levels,” the study said.
Researchers then suggested that a case of obesity or type 2 diabetes in one spouse could be a prompt for the other to start having screening tests.
“Our results indicate that on finding obesity in a person, screening for diabetes may be justified,” the researchers emphasized.
The study was presented during the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Portugal. MIMS
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