A new study has found that encouraging or persuading husbands to get themselves into shape may not be as effective as nagging them.
Research proves that men are much more likely to lose weight if their other halves criticise, confront and reject them, rather than offer sugar-coated encouragement.
US researchers found that men who went on diet or exercised half-heartedly got much better results if their wives gave them a tongue lashing. But the same approach does not work for women, it appears, the Journal of Family Psychology reports.
They found women regularly criticised by their partner for gaining extra pounds were unlikely to take action, according to the Daily Mail.
Psychologists from the University of California - Los Angeles, Southern Methodist University, Dallas and Florida State University, said that women already face such intense pressure from society to remain slim that a few harsh words from their husbands are unlikely to make much difference.
The findings establish that giving negative feedback can sometimes have positive benefits in a relationship.
The researchers came up with the results after studying weight gain in newlywed couples.
These findings are based on 165 couples, mostly in their early twenties, who had been married only a few years and who had gained weight after tying the knot.
Numerous studies have found that both sexes tend to pile on the pounds in the first few years of a marriage as they slip into a comfortable lifestyle.
The results showed husbands who whined and moaned about being overweight were more likely to start dieting and exercising if they faced what psychologists call 'oppositional behaviour' from their wives -- or constant criticism rather than sympathy.