It’s not just mothers who go through body changes after childbirth, and studies show that men do gain weight after becoming fathers themselves. So the well-known “Dad belly” is actually a very accurate description about what happens to most men once they have children.
A massive study condoned on over 10,000 men has kept track of each one over a period of 20 years since 1994, monitoring the fluctuations in their BMI from early adolescence to their early 30’s. The results showed that those who have become fathers have experienced an increase in their body fat, measured within the standard body mass index.
For example, the average 6-foot tall man has gained 4.4 pounds in weight after becoming a father for the first time if he lived in the same house with his child. While often attributed to dads usually clearing the plates by taking that last bite of pizza or cake, it’s also due to the clear limited amount of time dedicated to exercise.
Family becomes the first priority and much less time is restricted for themselves. Along with the difficulty in resisting temptation of having sweets or various snacks through the house that parents inevitably dig into from time to time.
That is why the average 6-foot tall man who does not live in the same household as his child, due to a variation of reasons, has gained 3.3 pounds over the years. It’s emphasizes the lack of time given to physical activities while prioritizing their child, as most parents do.
To further prove the theory, the results have shown that men who did not have children had actually lost weight by their early thirties, trimming down 1.4 pounds.
It’s already known that men experience weight gain after marriage, but this is one of the first studies to inform the public of fatherhood’s possible consequences on their health by affecting their BMI. The higher the BMI, the higher the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart problems or cancer.
The conclusion taken was that men new to fatherhood drastically lower the number of visits they pay to the doctor after their first child is born, and are more likely to interact with pediatricians than health professionals who cater more to adults.
The study then underlines the need for pediatricians to consult fathers about their own health risks and find a way to better influence this very significant period of development in men’s lives.
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