By definition, when your partner puts on more than a 30 BMI, translating to about 30 pounds overweight, they are considered obese. High blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, heart disease, gout, and asthma are just a few of the health risks associated with the weight classification. If your partner became obese during your relationship, would you accept it or push for a lifestyle change? Considering that 71.7% of Non-Hispanic Black men are overweight and worse statistics for Non-Hispanic Black women, perhaps, couples aren’t doing enough to encourage healthy lifestyles within their relationships.

In February 2011, Vicki Larson wrote an article in the Huffington Post about prenuptial agreements that include weight restrictions. While many classified the legal precaution as shallow, considering the health risks listed above, is it really controversial to demand that your partner take precautions toward jeopardizing their health and your time? After all, if you’re married or frankly, love your partner, don’t their health concerns directly impact your life? Consider the numerous hospital and doctor visits associated with the above diseases. Or perhaps, the health care costs that could drive up your insurance if under the same policy. Obesity simply isn’t about looks; it becomes a real health, time, and financial concern for couples. Better to prevent it than deal with the consequences.

According to researchers, married and unmarried cohabitating couples tend to gain weight after moving in together. Most gym memberships get canceled along with the conscious efforts to prevent weight gain for attraction purposes. “Getting comfortable” is not healthy or productive. And unfortunately, being lackadaisical about you or your partner’s health can lead to serious consequences beyond health risks down the line.

Many divorced couples cite their ex-partner’s weight gain as a turn off during marriage. Perhaps it was not the leading cause for the unraveling of the marriage, but it certainly was a factor. Arguably, partners complaining about weight gain and taking joint action are two different things. Nipping the problem in the bud through united effort is better than simply pointing the finger or silently wishing that your partner would personally initiate the change. Why not keep it healthy, and thus sexy, through kicking off regular exercise and healthy food routines? Addressing your partner’s weight gain does not require humiliation or debasing, just a proactive indication that you care.

For the strongest results, love and sensitivity must co-exist with taking these health precautions and decreasing your partner’s weight. While serious health risks are at stake, couples can make exercise fun and romantic through challenges and rewards for meeting goals. Perhaps for every 10 pounds lost, take a staycation to romantically celebrate at home for a day or two. Once your partner reaches his or her final weight loss goal, take a real vacation to show off your partner’s new and healthy body. Exercise and eating healthy should never feel like a burden. Being concerned is a loving gesture and helping your partner curb their unhealthy habits is part of your responsibility as their mate.

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  1. Personally, I’m not mad if my wife gains weight, it’s natural, but obesity can be drain on a family budget. It’s literally like living with a drug addict

  2. If my partner reached a point where he became obese, I would gently discuss the issue with him. I don’t know many people who want to be obese, so I would help him through the challenge. I would workout and eat healthy with him. It is natural for weight to fluctuate, but to dump the person without trying to work it out- is shallow and not true love.

  3. One thing we have to do is rememer that there is a difference between obesity and health. Sitting on the couch playing PS3 all the damn time and not getting out to exercise isn’t healthy either. Visceral fat is what gets you. the fat that is around the organs not necessarily visible.
    If you want your spouse to keep off the weight exercise with them. run together, bike together, swim together. Take a dance class. Cuz it gets old when you go out for a run and your sweetie is just sitting home watching tv.

  4. I really believe it all depends on how you do it. Positive reinforcement is so much more workable than negative reinforcement. That is to say that saying to your partner “If you don’t lose weight we will break up. Or if you don’t lose weight we cannot move forward in marriage” is damaging and immature. Where as saying, “I love you. I want you to lose. I support you in that and I am willing to give you something that you would really love –from my heart–if you can do this from your heart.” Going about it the other way can create a toxic environment with passive aggressive feelings and behaviors as the result–including a lack of real progress out of the spite of being given an ultimatum.

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