However, a new study proves that new fathers do have the tendency to gain weight after the baby is born as well.
A team of researchers from Northwestern University carried out research that revealed that men tend to gain 3 to 5 pounds after they start playing their role as fathers.
Dr. Craig Garfield of Northwestern University, who is the lead study author, explains this situation:
“For men who become fathers, their whole life changes. They may sleep less, exercise less, and experience more stress — all of which can lead to weight gain. It doesn’t help that the food selection at home may gradually change to include more things like “making chocolate chip cookies with the kids,” he said.
Moreover, both parents have the tendency to finish the food that their kid doesn’t want to eat. Most often, this food also includes pizza, pie and cake, potatoes and many other things that are not necessarily ideal food for someone who wants to keep his waistline intact.
Before reaching such conclusions, the researchers looked at the data collected from another study, which analyzed the health of teenagers for 20 years. After reviewing the weight of teen boys who became dads (about 3,400 of them) and boys who didn’t (6,800 participants) they noticed there was a difference between them.
It was reported that the average 6-foot-tall first-time dad who lives with his kid gained 4.5 pounds on average. Those who did not live with their kid gained 3.5 pounds on average.
While it is expected that it is harder for people to maintain their body weight once they get older, the researchers were surprised to find out that the men who were childless had the tendency to lose about 1.5 pounds within the same period of time. Over the twenty years, their weight was measured four times.
The authors of the study also said that they made statistical adjustments to level the influence of various factors, such as age and marriage.
Even if it might sound surprising, it doesn’t mean that all this should be taken for granted. There are many limitations to the study. For example, the researchers were unable to tell when exactly the dads gained weight, whether it was during pregnancy or after that. Even so, further analysis and research might be worth it, given the high rates of obesity among American men.
The results of the study were published in the online American Journal of Men’s Health, on Tuesday.
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