A new large scale study published in the American Journal of Men’s Health on Tuesday is suggesting that men gain weight after becoming fathers. The study that tracked over 10,000 men for a period of 20 years revealed that men who become dads experience increase in their body mass index (BMI), a body fat measurement made based on the weight and height of the concerned person.
The said study was conducted by a group of researchers at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University. According to the researchers, this new study on BMI of young men and fatherhood is the first of its kind.
Craig Garfield, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of the university, said that fatherhood can have a prominent impact on young men’s health. He added that weight gain and increase in BMI leave fathers at high risk of developing heart disease and other debilitating conditions like cancer and diabetes.
Wight gain was found to be different for dads who resided with their kids; these dads were referred to as “resident dads. Scientists found that during the course of the study first time resident dads experienced 2.6% increase in their body mass index, on an average.
According to the findings of the study, 6 ft tall resident dads and non-resident dads respectively gained 4.4 lbs and 3.3 lbs of weight. However, 6 ft tall men, who didn’t have any kid, lost 1.4 lbs during the same period.
The researchers concluded that men experienced change in their BMIs due to lifestyle changes.
Garfield stated that when a man becomes a father he needs to take up new responsibilities and may struggle to get time for taking care of himself in the same way he once used to do in terms of workout. According to him, for men who are dads family becomes most prior.
The researchers began the study way back in 1994. They measured the BMI of a total of 10.253 men in four different stages of their lives, from early adolescence to early 30s. While men tend to experience a change in their BMI as they become older, the way the BMI of these men changed was largely influenced by whether they were fathers.