Recently, the dad bod has become a bit of a phenomenon, as more and more women admit that they are, in fact, attracted to the body style of the slightly pudgy man who only occasionally makes it to the gym.
According to a new study, there may be a reason why the guy with the dad bod only makes it to the gym once in a while — because he is, in fact, a dad.
Previously, the dad bod was widely seen as a result of weight gain after marriage. As it turns out, a new study shows that men who have children are more likely to have a dad bod than men who don’t have children. Go figure.
The study, which was conducted by researchers at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, followed more than 10,000 men for more than 20 years, beginning when they were 12 years old and ending in their early 30s. The study showed that the average, 6-foot tall, first-time dad gained 4.4 pounds if he lived in the same home as his newborn child. Those dads who lived separately gained weight as well, though not quite as much — 3.3 pounds.
By contrast, married men without children tended to lose 1.4 pounds during the same time frame.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) July 23, 2015
Dr. Craig Garfield, who conducted the study, talked to Time about both his own experience with the dad bod and some of his theories about why the likelihood of the dad bod increases with the birth of children.
“From my own point of view, we wouldn’t have as many pizzas in the house if the kids weren’t around, and we wouldn’t have the brownies my wife makes if the kids weren’t around. Having kids around changes not only the food in the house and what is available to you for meal, but also for snacks. It also changes whether you are able to find time to get out and exercise and get enough sleep and take care of yourself.”
The dad bod was made popular after Clemson student Mackenzie Pearson wrote an essay describing her attraction to the dad bod. The essay went viral, causing a plethora of other women to come out and say that Pearson isn’t the only one attracted to the dad bod. Pearson described the body type this way:
“The dad bod is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, ‘I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.’ It’s not an overweight guy, but it isn’t one with washboard abs, either.”
Pearson went on to write that “fraternity boys everywhere seem to be rejoicing.”
The dad-bod trend may help take the pressure off college men everywhere, but as the Northwestern study reveals, the dad bod is actually rooted in parenthood.
[Photo by Dad Body Models on Instagram: @DadBodyModels]