Can Fatherhood Make Men Fat? How to Avoid a Dad Bod

Can Fatherhood Make Men Fat? – How to Avoid a Dad Bod


Vince Vaugn's dad bodFirst time fathers tend to be less concerned with their own health than that of their new born babies, where newborns and toddlers don’t tend to leave that much time for male vanity, and now a new study from North Western University reveals that the “dad bod” is real and so are its effects on your health.

Bringing home a bundle of joy often means there’s more than you to love, but we’re not talking post pregnancy pounds for mum’s and now for the first time this study reveals at how being a first time dad can impact your weight.

We all joke about how a dad will eat snacks off their kids plate and it seems that this type of behaviour will actually have an effect on their overall health and BMI (body mass index).

Starting in 1994 Dr Craig Garfield and his team at North Western University tracked the BMI of 10’000 mean over 20 years; from adolescence into adulthood, they found that the average 6ft tall man gained on average 4.4 lbs where as dad’s who did not live with their kids gained on average 3.3 lbs and men who did not become first time dad’s lost on average 1.4lbs over the same time.

Dr Craig Garfield’s team have called the results the “fatherhood effect” and is a wake up call for men who want to be the best father they can be to their newborn child and family.

Adam Cohen from, a father of two with one on the way says he has gained 20 lbs since having his first child 7 years ago. He adds: “as a first time father you are going to be packing on the pounds, you’re not going to be as active as you used to be, you’re going to be self-sacrificing , you’re going to be sitting there cool and calm with your baby as opposed to hitting the gym”.

Doctors warn that neglecting your health in those early days as a dad could have some major health effects over time.

Increases in weight are associated with coronary vascular disease, heart disease and cancer, so as Dr Craig Garfield puts: “by taking care of themselves, men can actually be a healthier dad and pass down those healthy behaviours onto their children”.

Therefore fathers do need to be more proactive about their health, scheduling regular check ups and making time for exercise.


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