Obesity and marriage rates and spinsterhood predictions

I was looking over doom and gloom and the amount of attractive Christian virgins and I got a bit sidetracked onto the quantification of obesity and its effect on marriage rates for obese persons.

One woman did her thesis and found:

The results for marriage are more interesting. The effects of normal and obesity are consistent across models; the hazard for normal and obese people to marry is about 76% and 64%, respectively, as likely as that for overweight people. In the final model, the hazards (70% and 60%, respectively) for normal and obese people to marry are even lower than the first model, holding all other variables in constant.

The book obesity among poor americans found that:

  • 10 extra lbs decreased “ever dating” by 10%
  • One study showed obese persons 67% persons likely to marry than normal weight
  • Another study showed overweight persons 80% likely to marry than normal weight (and their spouse earns 25% less.. which like means they’re “marrying down”)
  • Another study showed obese persons 65.1% like to marry than normal weight

A Swedish cohort from men born in 1951 to 1961 showed in marriage at age 40:

  • 16% less likely for underweight than normal weight
  • 17% less likely for overweight than normal weight
  • 51% less likely for obese than normal weight

A French cohort showed that obese persons were 29% less likely to have a sexual partner within 12 months as normal weight women.

Side note: interestingly, the Swedish cohort also confirms core hypergamy:

  • More men were married the higher the education: high > medium > low
  • More men were married the higher status job: white collar > farmer > blue collar > other
  • More men were married the higher the intellectual performance: high > medium > low
  • More men were married the higher the muscle strength: high quintile > mediate to high quintile > mediate quintile > mediate to low quintile > low quintile
  • Parental education and socioeconomic factors also had some roles as did lack of psychiatric disorders.

Women want to marry up. Surprise.

In summary, a general estimation if you’re obese you’re likely to have approximately  a 30-50% less likely chance to marry, and if you’re overweight or underweight you likely have approximately a 10-30% less likely chance to marry. If there was 10 normal weight people, then approximately about 6 obese people, 8 underweight, and 8 overweight people would marry.

Based on the NIDDK table, more men are overweight but more weight are obese or extreme obese: Estimated (Age-Adjusted) Percentage of US Adults with Overweight and Obesity by Sex,  2013–2014  NHANES Data

All (Men and Women) Men Women
Overweight or Obesity 70.2 73.7 66.9
Overweight 32.5 38.7 26.5
Obesity (including extreme obesity) 37.7 35 40.4
Extreme obesity 7.7 5.5 9.9

According to Dalrock’s never married charts from the Census:

10% has been the general trend for never marrieds approximately, but the rates are going up quickly. So most of those normal weight, overweight, or obese women still got married through the early 2000s and 2010s.

From the previous doom and gloom we have these statistics on both overweight and obese.

  • 58.5 of women 20-39 years old are overweight or obese in 2011-2012 in the US.


  • NIDDK (National institute for diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases) states that 33% of teens are overweight or obese. 67% of teens are not overweight or obese.
  • The obesity rate of girls 2-5 years old is 13.5 and girls 6-11 is 16.3 and girls 12-19 is 20.9.


  • CDC data brief estimates women 20-39 were approximately 36.5% obese.


Therefore, in the 20-39 age group for women:

  1. 41.5% of women were either underweight or normal weight
  2. 22% of women were overweight
  3. 36.5% of women were obese

Interestingly, the prevalence of overweight men and women from the NIDDK link shows that it has stayed roughly the same over time. We’re just substituting men and women of normal weight for obese weight. (It actually probably does not happen like that and some of the normal weight men and women are becoming overweight and some of the overweight men and women are becoming obese… but it’s interesting that it happens in similar numbers.)

Estimating 18-29 year old obesity rates

So starting college (18 years old) approximately:

  • 58% of women are normal or underweight
  • 22% of women are overweight
  • 20% of women are obese

Let us assume a best case scenario where obesity rates max out after a woman hits 30 because the metabolism slows down, they get married, and so on. Women aged 40–59 have a 44.7% obesity rate. Since women 20-39 have a 36.5 obesity rate, that means there is an 8.2% spread. 36.2-8.2 spread is 28% obesity rate approximate best case estimate for women 20-29. This gives us for the women in the 20-29 range:

  • 50% of women were either underweight or normal weight
  • 22% of women were overweight
  • 28%% of women were obese

Therefore, my estimate in the last doom and gloom was dead on. In any range 20-29 year old women population, approximately 5 women are normal or underweight, 2 are overweight, and 3 are obese.

The obesity rate likely goes something like this for each age group though:

  1. 12-18 year olds — 20%
  2. 18-24 year olds — 24%
  3. 25-29 year olds — 29%
  4. 30-34 year olds — 36%
  5. 35-39 year olds — 44%

Much larger increases for the latter groups.

Normal weight versus overweight versus obese rates of marriage

Average age of marriage for women is now approximately 27 years old in the US.


  • 5 women underweight or normal weight, 2 overweight, and 3 obese.
  • Using the adjusted data percentage to marry we have: 10 normal weight people for 6 obese people for 8 underweight for 8 overweight people would marry.
  • It’s also worth noting that the “underweight” population for women is negligible around 2-3% of the total population.

To make this easier, let’s use it out of 100 people.

  • 50 women normal weight, 20 overweight, 30 obese.

If the proportions were equal then 25 normal people marry, 10 overweight, 15 obese marry marry.  However, we have different odds ratios. I’m not quite sure how to apply the odds ratios onto the populational statistics exactly. It probably works out to something like 30 normal people marry, 9 overweight people marry, and 11 obese people marry leaving approximately 20 normal weight, 11 overweight, and 19 obese people unmarried (if I applied the 80% and 60% to overweight and obese correctly).

In other words, approximately:

  • 30/50 or 60% normal weight women marry by 27
  • 9/20 or 45% overweight women marry by 27
  • 11/30 or 37% obese women marry by 27

If these ratios persist until all never marrieds (adjusting the ratios up for obesity as women get older), then we will have:

  • 38/40 or 95% normal weight women marry by 40
  • 16/20 or 80% overweight women marry by 40
  • 30/40 or 75% obese women marry by 40

Basically, the more obese you are the much more likely it is that you won’t marry if you’re a woman. Almost all normal weight women will get married except for a few outliers. Even most overweight and obese women will get married, but if you’re overweight and obese it’s highly likely that you may get left out.

  • 2/16 or about 12.5% of the never married will be about normal weight
  • 4/16 or 25% of the never married will be overweight
  • 10/16 or about 67.5% of the never married women will be obese

Basically, if you’re a woman and you want to be married you still have a high chance. Most women still get married even if they are overweight or obese, but the prospects are definitely lower. But if you are one of the “spinsters” who are getting up there in age and not married, there is a high percentage chance that you are obese.

The fear, of course, is that if the never married rates keep rising to the 25-30% range which has been estimated for some. A brief estimate in that scenario may be somewhere in the range of:

  • 36/40 or 90% normal weight women marry by 40
  • 14/20 or 70% overweight women marry by 40
  • 20/40 or 50% obese women marry by 40

What woman wants to take a 50/50 chance that she won’t be married? Same as the man who doesn’t want to take a 50/50 chance that he will be divorced probably. Not many.

On a semi related note about spinster-ism, Amal Clooney thought she would be one once she got to 35 without getting married.

“I met George when I was 35 and starting to become quite resigned to the idea that I was going to be a spinster,” she said.”Then we met, started hiding out in my London flat and very soon it felt like no matter what happened I would never want to be with anyone else. I couldn’t sleep when we were apart, and I’m told I would display a particular grin and head tilt when reading his text messages or the letters that he would hide in my bag.

I suppose the irony is that she sorta got her “fairy tale ending” according to most, but she is extremely grateful which shows that their marriage will likely last:

“Five years later, none of that has changed,” she continued. “He is the person who has my complete admiration, and also the person whose smile makes me melt every time. My love, what I have found with you is the great love that I always hoped existed. And seeing you with our children, Ella and Alexander, is the greatest joy in my life. You fill our home with laughter and happiness  and that’s even before the children have worked out that ‘Dada’ is actually Batman.”

I wouldn’t count on that if you’re a single woman who is overweight or obese though. Make changes to your lifestyle with nutrition and exercise.

Note: Most of the percentiles are estimates unless someone has the way to do the math for the odds ratios on the population statistics.

This entry was posted in Godly mindset & lifestyle and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Obesity and marriage rates and spinsterhood predictions

  1. earl says:

    ‘Women want to marry up. Surprise.’

    And men don’t want to marry fatties…suprise.

  2. earl says:

    So at 35 Amal finally figured out that submitting works. I guess that’s better than a lot of spinsters.

  3. Bee says:


    It is more than submission. It is also respect which can be thought of as admiration. The way she speaks positively about her husband to outsiders indicates respect.

    Ephesians 5 emphasizes both submission and respect. The greek word respect really means fear or reverence, which ties in with I Peter 3 where Sarah called Abraham, “Lord”.

  4. earl says:

    That to me would prove a marriageable woman at least in regards to her personality. Showing submission and reverence. Quite often many prove they’d rather rebel and hate men.

  5. Bee says:


    “That to me would prove a marriageable woman at least in regards to her personality. ”

    Your valuing the right things, you have the right priorities. I hope you find a good woman soon.

  6. Pingback: Obesity, sexlessness, and overall demographics | Christianity and masculinity

  7. Pingback: The extent of attraction | Christianity and masculinity

  8. Pingback: Obesity may explain a large percentage of the problems in marriage rate dips | Christianity and masculinity

  9. Pingback: From IFStudies – marriage for the religious, common mistakes that can undermine a marriage, hookup culture among Christians, where have all the good men gone part zillion | Christianity and masculinity

  10. Pingback: Cheap sex leads to decreasing marriage rates or not? | Christianity and masculinity

  11. Pingback: 5 years later: marriage rates and spinsterhood projections | Christianity and masculinity

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s