In 2010 the American Journal of Epidemiology published the findings of eight years of research focused on 9,000 men and women with an average age of 45. One of the findings showed that men were more likely to become fitter and healthier after a divorce whilst women were more likely to put on weight.
The reasoning behind the survey results was that men were likely to start considering their appearance and their fitness in order to find a new partner. Conversely, it was thought that the emotional upheaval of the split was more likely to adversely affect women.
However, as we all know, research and statistics can always be disproved. This weekend we see pictures of Dawn French who has lost a considerable amount of weight in recent months (reportedly 4 stone). Dawn’s divorce from Lenny Henry was formalised late last year and she is now said to be eating more healthily and considering taking up Pilates classes. Clearly, post-divorce health and fitness is not limited to men.
For more rounded research results, perhaps the American Journal of Epidemiology should have also taken into account other factors (such as who in the relationship instigated the split) when measuring the effects on health and fitness.
Perhaps what we can take from the research findings and Dawn French’s recent weight loss, is that there is an opportunity for anyone to improve themselves after divorce. Whilst some people might begin a fitness regime straight after their split and others may take longer to adjust, when the dust settles, there is an opportunity to gain a second lease of life, and health, after divorce.