Ending a marriage may lead to a deterioration in men’s diets that could have clinical significance, while women’s diets don’t change significantly, according to a study in Social Science & Medicine.
Previous studies have focused on how marriage affects people’s diet, but less is known about how changes in marital status affect what they eat, the study said. It looked at marriages that ended because of divorce, separation or being widowed.
Researchers assessed the health of participants’ diets by the amount and variety of fruits and vegetables consumed. Reduced consumption of fresh produce has been linked to greater risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer, while diets of limited variety are associated with Type 2 diabetes and some cancers, they said.
Compared with men who stayed married, those whose marriage ended reduced by about 25 percent their daily consumption of fruits and vegetables over the course of the study. Their diets also became less varied. Changes in all the women’s diets weren’t statistically significant.