Is Your House Making You Fat?

Studies show that while homeowners aren’t any more or less happy than renters, they experience more negative feelings related to their domiciles. And if that wasn’t bad enough, it turns out that female homeowners weigh more than female renters.

Researchers discovered homeowners, on average, outweighed renters by 12 pounds. In addition to excess weight, female homeowners were also carrying around more aggravation, making less time for leisure, and were less likely to spend time with friends.

Apparently the researchers controlled for age, as it would seem logical to assume that homeowners are on average older than renters and people tend to put on weight as they ride the chronology train into the future.

fat house
Fat House by Erwin Wurm (2003)

Alas, age has nothing to do with it. Researchers speculate that homeowners spend less time doing things like socializing with friends, walking, and playing sports because they are too busy fixing roofs, installing new wainscoting, and walking the aisles of Home Depot looking for deals on pedestal sinks for that half-bath they plan to install one of these days.

The findings present a chicken-or-the-egg question for social scientists, who are unsure if home ownership causes these patterns or if people prone to less sociability, less interest in leisure activities and higher stress are simply more attracted to owning homes.

Full disclosure: I am a female homeowner. I may be carrying around an extra pound or two, but not necessarily twelve. That said, I walk every day. And I wasn’t all that social to begin with. But this smacks to me of one of those “correlation does not imply causation” situations.

pirates are cool

2 Responses to “Is Your House Making You Fat?”

  1. Jo June 27, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    I can tell you why I weigh more than I did when I rented: I have about ten pounds more muscle, courtesy of clearing a lot, remodeling a bathroom, and hauling umpteen pounds of rock. Could that have anything to do with it?

  2. class factotum June 28, 2009 at 8:27 am #

    They didn’t mention anything about marriage. I would suspect that if you own a home, you are more likely to be married. If you are married AND a homeowner, you really have less time for other things like hanging out with girlfriends because you want to spend time with your husband.

    You also probably aren’t as obsessive about dieting and working out because you aren’t as worried about attracting a man and hey, maybe your husband likes a little meat on you.

    The aggravation comes from the fact that when your husband wakes you up at 2:00 a.m. to tell you that the basement has flooded for the second time in a year (two 100-year events in 13 months! How lucky are you!) and your brand-new carpet, installed last July after the first flood ruined the other one, might be ruined, it is up to you and not the landlord to save it.