New mothers can gain up to 35 pounds throughout those 9 long months of pregnancy and tend to try to lose the weight after their little bundle of joy is born. But research points out that new dads also seem to gain some “sympathy weight” and experience their waistline getting bigger too. The only difference is that they do it once their newborns are home.
ViralSection has put together a summary of the study that confirmed that men get bigger when they start a family.
How researchers discovered this
Becoming a father has a significant impact on men’s lives, from experiencing an overwhelming new type of love, to becoming more responsible and getting fewer hours of sleep. And now this study, conducted by Dr. Craig F. Garfield from the University of Northwestern in the U.S. and published in the American Journal of Men’s Health, confirmed that the majority of men also gain weight after having their first kid.
10,254 men participated in the study through their teenage years, their 20s, and up to their early 30s. The research began in 1994 when this group of scientists started following the steps of the volunteers, who were 12 at that time. For 20 years, experts tracked the participants’ weight, marital status, and the number of babies they had, until they all turned 32 in 2014.
Having or not having a child impacts a man’s appearance.
After 20 years, the researchers gathered and analyzed all the information and found that a man’s body mass index (BMI) is directly linked to fatherhood and to not having children.
Dr. Garfield explains that men gain weight naturally because their metabolism slows down with age, but scientists noted that the men whose BMI increased drastically, were the ones who became fathers. More specifically, a first-time dad could gain more than 4.5 pounds right after the birth of their child. What’s also interesting is that men without children either maintained their weight or lost some weight over the course of the 20 year study.
The reason behind those extra pounds
The study didn’t examine the specifics behind why new dads gain weight, but Dr. Garfield believes that a change in their lifestyle and routine could be part of the reason. When a man has a baby for the first time, his family becomes his priority.
The new responsibilities could distract him from the previous self-care he was accustomed to. The transformation of his way of living and habits may even make him exchange going to the gym and eating healthy, for a walk in the park and a stop for an ice cream. However, even parents who didn’t live with their kids also gained extra pounds, although not as much and not as fast as those who lived with their children.
The results can help raise awareness.
The investigations shed light on the risks of letting go of good habits or starting harmful ones when a man becomes a parent. Gaining too much weight can lead to high cholesterol and heart problems, among other conditions. It could be a good idea that new dads should become aware of, so that the extra weight doesn’t ruin the amazing experience of fatherhood they’re about to begin.
What advice would you give to a first-time dad? Do you believe that the amount of work required by a new baby makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle an impossible task? Tell us your opinion below!
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