A study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health claims that men tend to gain weight when they become fathers. This thing was observed before but it was never proved by science.
Researchers at Northwestern University have conducted the study on more than 10.000 men. They checked the participants in adolescence twice, in their mid-20’s and in their early 30’s. The research lasted for 20 years. One third of the participants became fathers.
The findings indicate that on average father gained between three and five pounds. Their BMI (body mass index) was eight percent higher than that of the men who did not have children. The fathers involved in the study gained 3.5 to 4.5 pounds only in their early 30’s. Later in life, in their late 30’s and 40’s the might even gain more weight. The study also indicates that unlike fathers, men who did not have children lost weight: around 1.4 pounds.
The authors of the study believe that this research could offer more insight into obesity in men. Usually men see the fact that they become fathers as an opportunity for self-improvement. They might quit smoking and drinking and start exercising. This comes from the desire to become a better man for the child who will soon be born.
However the findings of the study indicate the contrary and it seems that an increased BMI is a near-universal phenomenon. The exact reason to why this is happening is not clear. The researchers involved in the study made assumptions regarding this. Since they have become fathers men might not have much time for themselves. Or maybe they eat more junk food or are working in night shifts which influences their diet. The lead author of the study, Craig Garfield, acknowledged that one of his guilty pleasures is eating cheese pizza from his child’s plate. Probably their new schedule does not allow them to keep their fitness routine and dads might no longer be preoccupied with the way they look since they are off the dating market and possibly don’t wear anything other than sweatpants.
A few pounds won’t me much trouble especially when other studies indicates that there are a lot of advantages for dads: they are less depressed, make more money, are better employees, are more satisfied with their sex life and are less likely to die.
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