For richer, for poorer, for fatter

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Amid the toasters, knives and towels that dominate wedding lists, expect a new gift to loom large: Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution.

Amid the toasters, knives and towels that dominate wedding lists, expect a new gift to loom large: Dr Atkins' New Diet Revolution.

The Atkins diet, it seems, is the perfect present for couples getting married. For, according to a new study, marriage makes you fat.

Australian academics tracked newlyweds for a year and found waistlines bulging by an inch and hips by one and half inches. The study suggests couples should receive not only cohabitation advice before getting hitched but also dietary counselling.

Many couples slim before marriage to fit into dresses and suits and look good for photographs, but theories abound as to why newlyweds put on weight afterwards.

It may be blamed on less healthy eating and exercise, on the stress of adjusting to a new lifestyle, or on the loss of incentive to keep trim while seeking a mate.

Whatever the prime factor, the weight gain does not stop. We can, say the researchers, keep on growing for 10 years.

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