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Are Homeowners Fatter Than Renters?

It couldn't have come at a more perfect time: I was reaching for the Haagen-Dazs to eliminate the stress of my upcoming move when my editor suggested I write about the June research that homeowners are fatter and more unhappy than non-homeowners.

The research, by Wharton professor Grace Wong Bucchianeri argues that homeowners have been historically portrayed as happier than renters because apples have been compared to oranges. Homeowners as a group of people are usually richer, and once you control for that, poof, the happiness advantage disappears.

Bucchianeri found that homeowners generally weigh 12 pounds more than renters, which might have to do with the fact that they're generally an older population. (Personal anecdotal evidence: I'm not heavy now, but I was definitely 20 pounds not heavier 20 year ago.) She also only studied women, so it's not clear whether the husbands of her female homeowners are more or less trim from mowing the lawn and doing odd jobs from the "honey-do" jar than comparable renters.

However, it does give me something to say to my husband when he comes home and asks what happened to the ice cream. As a homeowner, eating it was my destiny.