New Fathers Gain Weight As Childless Men Lose Weight

Men gain weight an average of 3.5 to 4.5 lb once they become fathers. This is irrespective of whether or not they stay with their children. This is according to a new study by researchers from Northwestern Medicine, Evanston, Illinois. The researchers also found out that a control group of men who weren’t fathers lost weight over the same period of study.

The study, which was published just recently in the American Journal of Men’s Health, is the first to investigate how BMI (body mass index) is affected by fatherhood. The study involved 10,253 men over a period of 20 years. The men had their weight measured during their early adolescence, late adolescence, mid-20s and in early 30s.

Family-Physician6 ft tall fathers living with their children were found to gain an average of 4.4lb after becoming fathers for the first time. Fathers of the same height and who did not live with their children were found to gain an average of 3.3lbs. During the same period, men of the same height and who were not fathers lost an average of 1.4lbs.

Researchers took into account all the factors that contribute to weight gain. These factors included marriage status, screen time, daily activity, income, education, race and age.

The more weight men gain and the higher their BMI levels, the greater the risk they face for developing diabetes, cancer and various heart diseases. This is according to the study’s lead researcher Dr. Garfield.

According to the study’s finding, men assume new responsibilities once they become fathers. They may not have the time to take care of themselves. Family becomes their first priority such that they forget to exercise. This explains the relationship between fatherhood and weight gain.

Dr. Garfield believes that men need professional help once they become dads. Pediatricians can discuss with fathers about the things that are of key importance to their health. Pediatricians are in a perfect position to offer mental health education and nutritional counseling to fathers.

The transition to fatherhood is an important aspect in a man’s health. It is a vital developmental life stage where a lot of things change in a man’s life. New responsibilities mean little time for taking care of his body. The result is weigh gain which can have dangerous effects on a man’s health. There is a great need for the medical field to come up with ways of helping these men. Men need to be encouraged to seek regular help from pediatricians and other professionals.