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The Dad Bod phenomenon has been everywhere lately and has had many people scratching their heads. What exactly is Dad Bod? Does Dad Bod really exist or is it just men aging and not taking the best care of themselves as life gets busier? Well, according to researchers at Northwestern University, Dad Bod IS an actual thing and there's scientific research to prove it.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Men's Health, the researchers followed over 10,000 men from adolescence to adulthood and found that fatherhood was associated with a BMI increase of 2.6%—or about 3.5 to 4.5 pounds.
Lead researcher Dr. Craig Garfield was actually surprised by the findings as researchers "had done some earlier work that shows that becoming a father actually encourages people to clean up their act a little bit—eat a little better, drink a little less alcohol, smoke less if they are smokers, try to be a good role model."
And before you ask, researchers did account for factors like age, race, income, education, marriage status and daily physical activity. And what they discovered was that dads who lived with their kids gained more weight than those you didn't. And those men with no kids at all? Well, they actually lost weight over the same time period. Go figure.
So why the difference? According to Garfield, "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. We now realize the transition to fatherhood is an important developmental life stage for men's health."
So there you have it folks, Dad Bod is real and it's happening.