Does Becoming a Daddy Make You Fat?

Does Becoming a Daddy Make You Fat?

As life changing experiences go few can compare with becoming a father. It can cause you to redefine your relationship with your own parents, it can imbue a sobering sense of responsibility and it may even cause you to examine your own mortality. Now we know that it can also make you fat.

That is the finding from a 20 year study of over 10,000 men published in the American Journal of Men's Health. As well as a bouncing bundle of joy, fatherhood also delivers an average 4.4 extra pounds for a six-foot daddy. A father who does not live with his kids can expect to gain 3.3 pounds whereas men who do not become fathers actually lose weight, around 1.4 pounds on average. Other factors that can influence weight gain such as age, race, education, income, screen time and daily activity were taken into consideration, so the weight gained was purely down to fatherhood. This extra weight gain also has the knock-on effect of raising a dad's risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

This is probably not surprising news to dads. Sleepless nights, extra treat foods and a mountain of leftovers from picky eater kids is not exactly a recipe for weight loss. Time becomes a luxury for parents and there is less of it to spare to take care of yourself.

Dr. Craig Garfield is the lead author of the study and an associate professor of pediatrics and of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and attending pediatrician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago. Dr. Garfield attributes the weight gain to differences in lifestyle and eating habits between the three groups. "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.Your family becomes the priority," he stated.

Luckily the Dad Bod is trending right now so dads need not lament the fact that their kids ruined their figure. However for the sake of our kids dads need to concentrate a bit more on their own health.

So what can fathers do? Stop eating leftovers for a start! Dr. Garfield admitted that his main failing was finishing his kids' leftover pizza. Dads can also get active with their kids, according to Harvard Medical School just 30 minutes of moderate playtime with your kids can burn between 120 and 178 calories. Vigorous play can burn 150 to 222 calories per half-hour. So think of your kids as living kettlebells that demand to be exercised with!

Kettlebells that give hugs.

* I am a father, an M.Sc. qualified educator and a recent coffee addict. If you enjoyed this article then please check out Brain Sponge Blog where I write about learning how to learn, memory techniques and anything to do with the brain.

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