Married couples might eat more healthful foods than single people, but they still have a higher body mass index (BMI) than their single counterparts, a recent study claims. The findings came as European researchers tried to correlate marital status with BMI.

The scientists compared the BMIs of married couples with those of single men and women. The study group included more than 10,000 people from nine countries -- Britain, France, Italy, Poland, Russia, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Spain.

The researchers found that an average married man had a BMI of 26.3, while an average single man had a BMI of around 25.7. The same was found to be true in case of women: An average single woman was found to have a BMI of 25.1, while an average married woman had a BMI of 25.6.

The researchers also tried to study the impact of eating and exercise habits on the participants. Even though a slight difference was found in the BMI of the groups compared, the researchers believe that the difference revealed a social effect on health. “Our findings indicate that couples are not healthier in every respect, as has previously been assumed,” said lead researcher and author, Jutta Mata, in a statement.

However, the study does not clarify the reason behind the slight difference in the BMI of the single and married people.

A BMI of 25 to 30 means the person is overweight. On the other hand, a BMI of 30 or higher signals obesity. According to the World Health Organization, normal BMI ranges between 18.5 and 25.