Science has confirmed it, the dad bods are real as the study published in the American’s Journal of Men’s Health comes to confirm.
Conducted at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, the study claims that new fathers do experienced weight gain and their BMI consequently increases as they wait for their children to be born, as well as after these come in the world.
This study on fatherhood and young men’s BMI has been described as the first of its kind by the researchers. Considering the time span of the study, 20 years, and the number of subjects involved-above 10,000, it is rightfully called so.
“Beside the already known effect of marriage, the health of young men can be affected by fatherhood as well”,
stated lead author Craig Garfield, associate professor at Northwestern.
“With more weight gained and their BMI increased, the fathers increase the risk for developing diabetes, cancer and heart disease.”
Gaining weight differed for “residential dads” – dads who lived with their children and “non-residential dads” – dads who didn’t live with their children. The “residential dads” averagely increased their BMIs
by up to 2.6 percent, while the “non-residential dads” experienced a 2 percent increase. For the average 6-foot-tall dad who lives with his child that translated to a 4 pounds gained, while a “non-residential dad” gained on average 3.3 pounds. On the other side, a similar 6-foot-tall man who has no kids lost about 1.4 pounds in the same timeframe.
Researches said that lifestyle changes may be the result of BMI increase for both residential and non-residential dads.
“With having kids, you also have new responsibilities, your priority is your family, and in terms of exercise, you may not have enough time to take care of yourself,”
The first men to join the study were included in starting 1994. The range of the measurements was between early adolescence and the subjects’ early 30s. While aging BMI is generally changing, the way this 10,253 men changed, depended on whether they were dads or not.
The other factors that can also contribute for differences in gaining weight were controlled by researchers.
Those factors were: age, education, race, income, daily activity and before mentioned marriage status already tied to weight gain.
Researchers are convinced that their study’s findings underline the need for new preventive strategies targeted at expecting dads and new dads alike.
In particular since a child’s health outcome is also influenced by the father and the dad bod could be a marker for further developing overweight or obesity, the results go beyond explaining what underpins the dad bod so much flaunted today.
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