April 01, 2001
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts April 2001 Current Issue
April 2001
Short Cuts:

Lose your wife, and your health might be next to go. Recently divorced or widowed men eat fewer vegetables, drink more alcohol and are less likely to quit smoking than their married counterparts, according to a study of about 29,000 men conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Study co-author Dr. Ichiro Kawachi, an associate professor of health and social behavior at Harvard, theorizes it is largely the loss of a woman’s care that drives ex-husbands into bad habits. “Women in general are much better at keeping doctor and dentist appointments,” he says, which serves as healthful inspiration to their spouses. Also, says Kawachi, wives still tend to do most of the household cooking, which might explain why newly single men tend to up their intake of fast foods and skip the veggies.

Previous studies have shown divorce or separation more than doubles the risk of suicide in men. Interestingly, these factors did not influence women’s suicide risk.


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