New research shows that marriage makes men gain weight (but women like it)

Married men stop putting as much effort into staying in shape and start putting on weight. (But that might not be such a bad thing.)

A new study of men’s fitness has found that guys really do let themselves go after marriage. On average married men weigh approximately three pounds or 1.4 kilos more than their single counterparts.

Those are the findings of a new study, The impact of marriage and parenthood on male body mass index from The University of Bath.

The early days of fatherhood are also peak periods of weight gain for men. There is no change in their physic during their partner’s pregnancy, but after the baby arrives, guys tend to pack on the pounds.

Dr. Joanna Syrda, the study’s lead author said: “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.”

Weight gain is at least in part a lifestyle choice. The study also found that men lose the extra pounds again if their relationship ends, “It takes the period just before and after divorce to register a dip in male BMI.” The researchers suggest that single men who are looking for a partner have more incentive to stay fit and make more effort than those who are married.

‘Dad bod’ is the new six pack

But maybe they needn’t bother. Another study, released earlier this month to coincide with Father’s Day, found that the ‘dad bod’ is the new buff.

Having a dad body – or dad bod – is defined as being “softly round,” not exactly fit or fat, but the body of someone who makes no attempt to appear sculpted. Nearly 70 percent (69) of women surveyed found dad bods attractive, and an even higher percentage (74 percent) of women who are moms agree.

Close to half of women (47 percent) even believe dad bods are the new six-pack. Some also expressed anxiety that having a completely ripped partner puts pressure on them to stay unrealistically fit.

So, while marriage may result in some weight gain for men, it doesn’t necessarily have to coincide with a negative impact on their attractiveness.

In fact, the vast majority of men (92 percent) with dad bods are satisfied with their marriage and more than four in five are content with their life overall (86 percent) and their family life (83 percent).

So, look after your overall health, but don’t stress over those six-pack abs. After a certain age maintaining them becomes preposterous, and it’s not what most women are into anyway.

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