Association between weight status and men's positive mental health: The influence of marital status

Obes Res Clin Pract. Jul-Aug 2017;11(4):389-397. doi: 10.1016/j.orcp.2016.12.002. Epub 2016 Dec 20.


The purpose of this study was to (1) examine the association between weight status and men's positive mental health, defined as the presence of symptoms of emotional, psychological, and social well-being, and (2) evaluate the moderating effect of marital status. A total of 645 men aged between 19 and 71 years self-reported their height and weight and answered a questionnaire measuring their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Analysis of variance revealed that mean levels of emotional, psychological, and social well-being did not significantly differ according to men's weight status. Moderation analyses indicated that, for men in a relationship (married or living common-law), there were no significant associations between overweight, obesity, and the three components of positive mental health. However, for single men, overweight was marginally associated with higher emotional well-being, while obesity was associated with lower psychological well-being and marginally associated with lower social well-being. Results of the present study suggest that health professionals and researchers should take the characteristics (such as marital status) of men with obesity and overweight into account when working with them. Mental health researchers may need to examine men in each weight category separately (e.g. obesity vs. overweight), since the association with positive mental health can differ from one category to another.

Keywords: Men’s health; Obesity; Overweight; Positive mental health.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status*
  • Men's Health
  • Mental Health*
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / psychology*
  • Overweight / psychology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult