If you want to live longer, lose weight — so say various studies. But, there’s another, more effective way to increase your own, your spouse’s and your children’s longevity, without the sweat or the bland food — it’s staying married.
Yes, according to a new research in Britain, marriage confers considerable benefits to both adults and children, ‘The Times’ reported here today.
“All the evidence shows that there is something in marriage itself that is a benefit,” lead researcher Prof Mike Murphy of the London School of Economics was quoted as saying.
According to the study, married couples live longer, enjoy better health and can rely on more home care in old age than their divorced, widowed, single and cohabiting peers.
Moreover, children who live with their married parents are also healthier, and can expect to stay in full-time education for longer, whatever their economic background.
In fact, the researchers came to the conclusion after studying the health statistics in Britain.
They found that widowed men and single mothers had the worst health, suffering more acute and chronic conditions, while married people of both sexes enjoyed the best health.
Even the mortality rate among single men under 34 is about two-and-a-half times higher than that for young married men. Widowed and divorced men over 80 have a mortality rate one third higher than married men.
Furthermore, single, widowed and divorced older women all have higher mortality rates than their married peers.
“The evidence of both mortality and morbidity data suggest the link between health and the family remain strong.
“Some of the benefits of marriage can be explained by wealth as the marriage rate is higher in higher socio-economic groups,” Prof Murphy said.