Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts April 2001
Short Cuts:HEALTH BEAT
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.
LOREN G. EDELSTEIN
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