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Men Gain Weight When They Get Married, Become Fathers

Moms everywhere are like, "This is not news."

06/22/2017 13:06 EDT | Updated 06/22/2017 13:07 EDT

The "Dad Bod" is real and women everywhere are like, "Yes, we know."

A new study, conducted by the University of Bath and published in the journal Social Science & Medicine, has found that heterosexual men gain weight when they get married and when they became fathers.

Researchers concluded that married men have a higher body mass index (BMI) than unmarried men because of poor eating habits, but when they divorce, their BMI decreases.

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Married men and fathers tend to weigh more than unmarried men.

Head researcher Joanna Syrda looked at data from more than 8,700 men who were part of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), which asked them to answer questionnaires every couple of years on topics such as income, life events, and body characteristics.

Researchers were able to find a correlation between their BMI and their life events after they found that 24 per cent of participants got married, 12 per cent divorced, and 39 per cent became fathers.

Married men weighed an average of three pounds more than their single counterparts, and they also gained weight within a few years after their child was born.

Explaining why the divorced men may have lost weight, researchers hypothesized that it may have had to do with the stress of the separation and returning to singledom. (Whereas us women, we'll probably just eat our feelings and gain 10 pounds.)

It's useful for individuals to understand which social factors may influence weight gain, especially common ones such as marriage and parenthood.

The study's findings support a couple of theories that suggest unmarried men weigh less than married men in part to attract a mate, and that married men gain weight because of social obligations (family dinners, for example) attached to marriage.

Syrda says she hopes this study will help people be aware of the risks of poor diet and curb their bad habits before it gets too late.

"It's useful for individuals to understand which social factors may influence weight gain, especially common ones such as marriage and parenthood so that they can make informed decisions about their health and well-being," she wrote in a statement. "For married men who want to avoid BMI increases that will mean being mindful of their own changing motivation, behaviour and eating habits."