Weight Gain: New Dads Gain Between 3-To-5 Pounds When Starting A Family

Weight gain in new dads was discovered by researchers in an eye-opening analysis.

U.S. News and World Report reveals in a new study released that men gain somewhere between 3 to 5 pounds after becoming fathers. The study wasn’t conducted in order to arrive to that conclusion, but an outside expert says the research is “provocative and should spark further study.”

Tom Wadden, director of the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, says while it’s normal for doctors to be focused on the weight gain of women after having children, the weight of men by the same token isn’t even on the radar.

Medical Daily reports via MSN that the study followed 10,000 men from their early teens until their early adult years. While weight gain appeared in new dads, their “childless counterparts” actually lost the same amount of weight.

Dr. Craig Garfield of Northwestern University was the study’s lead author. He’s unsure why dads gain more weight after having children, but did speculate on it. He said that when men become fathers, their whole life changes. They may sleep less, be less physically active, and experience more stress. These are all just a few of the triggers for weight gain.

In addition to that, there are factors like making chocolate chip cookies with kids and finishing leftover food.

According to the study, for those who became a first time dad, “a typical 6-foot-tall man who lives with his child will gain an average of about 4½ pounds. A same-sized man who does not live with his child can expect to gain nearly 3½ pounds.” Men who “do not have children typically loses about 1½ pounds over the same time period, researchers found — after making statistical adjustments to iron out the potential influences of age, marriage, and other factors.”

Weight gain in new dads was determined four times over the two decades that the study was conducted. Researchers weren’t able to pinpoint when the weight was actually gained over time. Wadden thinks that most of it could have packed on during the pregnancy.

Lastly, the study revealed that men who lived with their children gained a bit more than those who don’t live with their children. They definitely gained more than the childless men.

Does this study surprise you? This might make women feel a little better since they’re the ones always being monitored for their weight both before and after having children. No one ever thought about new dads gaining weight.

[Photo Credit: Commons Wikimedia]