ISLAMABAD (Online) - A new study conducted by the University of North Carolina says that the loving relationship between married couples increases their waistline too. Couples start piling on the pounds in about 12 months after getting hitched. Two researchers, Penny Gordon-Larsen, an associate professor of nutrition, and Natalie The, a nutrition doctoral student, both with the University of North Carolina, Gillings School of Global Public Health, found out that couples who are married, face the risk of becoming obese than compared to people, in romantic relationships, who are not living together. Nutritionists and doctors feel that when women get married, they undergo a lot of physical and psychological changes. And this is manifested both internally and externally. Once a girl gets married, she also undergoes many emotional and hormonal changes. They also develop a general sense of well-being, which comes with having sex with the person you love. And all this increases ones appetite, says gynaecologist, Dr K Madan. Nutritionist Shikha Sharma opines that there are more reasons to why women gain weight after marriage. After marriage couples get invited to a lot of lunches and dinners by family and friends. There is a lot of unrestricted eating. Also women tend to let go their dietary control after they are married as they are at ease, with a sense of settlement, and their diet goes awry. Grooming expert, Meyhar Bhasin also blames it on the post wedding dinner invites and the poor starved bride who had to be picture perfect for the wedding photos. Once all the pressure of the wedding is over, the women just indulge in whatever comes their way. One would think that the urban woman would rubbish such thoughts, and aver that they follow a strict diet. But surprisingly, many of them concur with the experts views. I guess that is true, people who are married are happier and satisfied. They dont have the pressure to look good all the time, and they stop worrying about their waistline. And then, the babies come along. And at some point down the line, they become less conscious about their appearances explains Swapna Thomas, who works in FICCI. Meenakshi Sud Dutt, who was a professional model before she got married, gained a lot of weight post marriage. But shed like us all to believe that its all about loving your husband. Following his lifestyle, preparing whatever he likes, eating together, going for parties together, all this tells on the figure, she says. Elderly 'live longer if they are overweight Being overweight can help elderly people live longer, according to the most detailed study ever conducted into the health and ageing of those aged between 70 and 75. Being underweight, on the other hand, can lead to an increased risk of mortality. The study also found a sedentary lifestyle is more risky for women of all ages than it is for men. This study has demonstrated that, for people who have survived to the age of 70, the risk of death is lowest among those with a BMI [body mass index] classified as overweight, said Professor Leon Flicker, one of the worlds most eminent specialists in geriatric health. Those in their seventies who were classified as normal weight had a higher risk of death than the overweight group. The link between weight and mortality remained true for all of the most common causes of death, including cardiovascular disease and cancer. Even after removing the effects of early mortality, those who were overweight were still at lowest risk, added Flicker, whose research will be published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. This is a finding consistent with the observation that weight loss in older age groups is associated with greater incidence of death. The World Health Organisation defines weight categories using the body mass index - a persons weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in metres. The optimal weight is a BMI of 18.5 to 24.99; overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 to 29.99, while a BMI of 30 or higher would be considered obese, and less than 18.5 underweight. More than 60% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese, compared with 53% since 1993, according to the Health Survey for England 2007. About 44% of adults aged 65 or more are classified as overweight in the UK, with men more likely to have a higher BMI than women. Just under 30% of all those aged 55 to 74 are obese. Flicker, a professor of geriatric medicine and executive director of the Western Australian Centre for Health and Ageing, admitted he wasnt sure why excess weight protected older adults. We can only hypothesise, he said. But it may be that, as we age, the presence of nutritional and metabolic reserves - i.e., fat - are advantageous. Flicker said the extra weight could give older people reserves to recover from stresses such as surgery or pneumonia. If you develop an illness, a little more reserve gives you a greater chance to recover from that illness, he said. Low IQ among top heart health risks, study finds Intelligence is second only to smoking as a predictor of heart disease, scientists said on Wednesday, suggesting public health campaigns may need to be designed for people with lower IQs if they are to work. Research by Britains Medical Research Council (MRC) found that lower intelligence quotient scores were associated with higher rates of heart disease and death, and were more important indicators than any other risk factors except smoking. Heart disease is the leading killer of men and women Europe, the United States and most industrialized countries. According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes accounted for 32 percent of all deaths around the world in 2005. It is well known that people with poorer education and lower incomes often face higher risks of ill health and a range of diseases. Studies have pointed to many likely reasons, including limited access to healthcare and other resources, poorer living conditions, chronic stress and higher rates of lifestyle risk factors like smoking. The MRC study, which analysed data from 1,145 men and women aged around 55 and followed up for 20 years, rated the top five heart disease risk factors as cigarette smoking, IQ, low income, high blood pressure, and low physical activity.