Tuesday, 17 July 2012, 09:47 GMT
Obesity after marriage a growing trend

The Kurdish Globe
By Zakaria Muhammed

"I have no problem if I exercise all day long. But I can't avoid eating Saru Pe."

Overweight and obesity are the major problems of today across most places including the Kurdistan Region. If there were people in the past wishing to gain weight because they were too skinny, today there is a big number of people who are suffering from obesity.

This is not a big issue for young people who are still single but once they get married all the signs of obesity follow quickly a few months later. This problem is very common in today's lives.

Some couples who used to be slim prior to their marriage, gain weight gradually after marriage. Many wonder as to why obesity appears directly, within a very short time, after marriage.

Obesity can be contributed to a decrease in exercise or in healthy eating habits. Couples also have a tendency to become comfortable with one another after a while, hence, weight gain viewed as an issue of appearance may be downplayed and seen as less important.

Karzan Ahmad, 28, married Shirin Burhan, 27, five years ago. Ahmad was only 66 kilograms and with a slim figure, while Burhan was just 48 Kg, and regarded as too skinny by many people. After spending five years together, Ahmad now weighs 85 Kg and Burhan weighs in at 78 Kg.

"I don't like this at all, whenever somebody tells that I have gained weight I will feel sad. My wife is worse; before I married her, she was weak and advised by her physician to eat more than she used to. But now the same physician advises her to organize her meals and be careful of what she eats," Ahmad said sadly.

Ahmad wants to go to the gym and lose some weight but what makes him face difficulties is that he can't help eating greasy foods and sweets.

"I have no problem if I exercise all day long. But I can't avoid eating Saru Pe." noted Ahmad.

Saru Pe is the head and legs of animal, mostly sheep. It is a traditional Kurdish dish and usually eaten at breakfast and lunch.

Nawzad Abdullah is 44 year-old man, who used to practice Kung fu and always take good care of his weight. "All my friends were telling me that I will gain weight once I get married but I didn't believe this. I stayed slim for all my life till I got married. After only spending six months in marital life, I feel what my friends used to tell me came true,"

While many people rely on processed foods as their major or sole source of nutrition, they seem to be well aware of its dangers. "They will not kill you straight away, but can eventually lead to illnesses such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer," Abdullah warned.

Although, there is no official statistics and surveys in Kurdistan to disclose the number of obese people and illustrate how marriage causes couples to gain weight, sociologists and physicians have their says about the issue.

Dr. Karwan Hazwez, who has doctoral degree in Family Medicine and works as a physician in Azadi Clinic in Erbil, said "Medical scientists already proved that gaining weight after marriage is a fact. It is possibly because couples feel comfortable socially in general and sexually in particular,"

In Dr. Hawez's view, another reason behind gaining weight after marriage is that couples don't go by a healthy regime of eating.

Lanja Shwani, who works in Ara Organization for Social consultancy in Erbil, said "Because I am a woman and a social worker, I know the nature of woman. Women in our society take good care of themselves in order to stay slim and attractive to men especially at the universities. But when they get married, they don't care much to stay attractive,"

When asked why they don't care about their weight, Shwani replied "Because most of them say for whom I should beautify myself. Most women here, unfortunately, think they should take care of their body only before marriage; they understand that slimness is only for attraction and they don't know the value of their health,"

People use several treatment methods to reduce their weight, either to improve their health, have a better lifestyle or to look better. Especially noticeable is the increasing number of women at fitness centers, but Shwani believes marriage involves teamwork, which includes building each other up in all areas. If a woman wants to stay healthy and gets in shape, it is important for his spouse to be healthy and physically fit as well.

"Couples often abandon their old lives when they get married and, in some ways, it's good to create new routines to bring them closer together. They should understand that while routines that are healthy can be tough, it well worth the effort if it helps them avoid those post-wedding weights." She noted.