A new study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health states that men, on average, gain 3.5 to 4.5 pounds after becoming fathers—even if they don’t live with their children. The study also discovered that a control group of men who weren’t fathers lost weight over the same period of time.
Researchers analyzed 10,253 men over a 20-year period. Participants had their body mass index (BMI) measured in early adolescence, late adolescence, in their mid-20s and early 30s.
After analyzing the data, researchers found that a six-foot-tall man living with his children gained an average of 4.4 pounds after first becoming a father—a 2.6% rise in BMI. Fathers of a similar height who didn’t live with their children put on an average of 3.3 pounds—a two percent rise in BMI.
Researchers further discovered that an average six-foot-tall man who wasn’t a father lost an average of 1.4 pounds.
Keep in mind that education, income, daily activity, and marriage status were all factors that were taken into account when researchers calculated the results.
The study’s lead author, Dr. Craig Garfield, believes that pediatricians should speak with new dads about nutritional counseling and mental health advice.
Sources for Today’s Article:
Garfield, C.F., “Longitudinal study of body mass index in young males and the transition to fatherhood,” American Journal of Men’s Health July 21, 2015, doi: 10.1177/1557988315596224.
McNamee, D., “New dads put on weight, while childless men lose weight,” Medical News Today web site, July 23, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297148.php.