EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium
Volume 8, Issue 1, 2018-2019
Break-Up Kummerspeck? No Evidence for Weight Gain After Romantic Relationship Dissolution
Warner, V. L., Horn, S. E., Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. A.
Overeating tied to negative emotions is a well-documented phenomenon. In fact, Kummerspeck is a German word for excessive weight gained by emotional eating. Its English translation is “grief bacon” or “sorrow fat.” Excessive eating after committed relationship dissolution may have been evolutionarily adaptive, particularly for women, as an increase in fat stores might help compensate for a loss of provisioning. Thus, we attempted to examine this issue through an evolutionary lens. Evidence from two studies, however, did not support Kummerspeck after the break-up of a long-term, romantic relationship, even when considering variables such as sex, age, time since break-up, current relationship status, break-up initiator, and attitudes towards partner at break-up. Only women with an existing proclivity to eat emotionally reported post-relationship weight gain, but this was not true for men. We discuss results and future research considerations.
How to cite this article:
Warner, V. L., Horn, S. E., Hughes, S. M., & Harrison, M. A. (2019). Break-up Kummerspeck? No evidence for weight gain after romantic relationship dissolution. The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium, 8(1), 80-96.