Fatherhood makes men fat

All those leftover pizza crusts you snatch from your kids’ plates add up

Men gain weight after they become fathers for the first time whether or not they live with their children, reports a large, new Northwestern Medicine study that tracked the weight of more than 10,000 men from adolescence to young adulthood. The six-foot-tall man who lives with his child gained an average of about 2 kg after becoming a first-time dad; the six-foot-tall dad who does not live with his child gained about 1.5 kg, the study reports.

That’s a 2.6 per cent rise in BMI (body mass index) for resident dads and a 2 per cent rise in BMI for non-resident dads after controlling for other variables.
By contrast, the average six-foot-tall man in this group who was not a father actually lost around 600 gm over the same time period.

Fatherhood and BMI
This is one of the first studies to examine how fatherhood affects a major biomarker of health, the BMI. The study was published on July 21 in the American Journal of Men’s Health. The study controlled for other factors that could contribute to weight gain such as age, race, education, income, daily activity, screen time and marriage status.

It is already known marriage results in a weight gain for men. The fatherhood weight gain is in addition to the increase resulting from marriage. “Fatherhood can affect the health of young men, above the already known effect of marriage,” said lead author Dr Craig Garfield, associate professor of pediatrics and of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “The more weight fathers gain and the higher their BMI, the greater risk they have for developing heart disease as well as diabetes and cancer."

Lifestyle changes of dads
New fathers’ weight gain may be due to changes in lifestyle and eating habits. “You have new responsibilities when you have your kids and may not have time to take care of yourself the way you once did in terms of exercise,” Garfield said. “Your family becomes the priority.”

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( Source : deccan chronicle )
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