dad-bodThe Summer of 2015 witnessed the explosion of a new buzzword/trend, “Dad Bod.”

What is Dad Bod? We’ll let Urban Dictionary help us out.

Dad Bod is a male body type that is best described as “softly round.” It’s built upon the theory that once a man has found a mate and fathered a child, he doesn’t need to worry about maintaining a sculpted physique.

As the definition points out, Dad Bod is considered a theory. With today’s “link bait” happy media, it is plausible the Dad Bod was an invented fad to help fill content over the summer months.

Interestingly enough, a recent study released by the American Journal of Men’s Health adds growing evidence to the Dad Bod waistline. This study “examines BMI in young men over time as they transition from adolescence into fatherhood in a nationally representative sample.”

Changes in BMI (Body Mass Index) were examined based on “fatherhood status.” Fatherhood status was broken into three groups: non-fathers, resident fathers (those that lived with their children), and non-resident fathers. Comparing these groups yielded different BMI trajectories during the 20 year study.

Entrance into fatherhood is associated with an increase in BMI trajectory for both nonresident and resident fathers, while non-fathers exhibit a decrease over the same period.

The weight gain in males associated with fatherhood is not biological change, it’s a lifestyle change. We can chuckle at the term “Dad Bod,” but it can become a precursor to more serious weight related health issues. It is important to acknowledge and address a lifestyle change before it happens. Healthier fathers (and parents in general) set a healthy precedent for their children a young age.