Without a controlled diet, men gain weight soon after they become dads, a British study says. According to the results of studies carried out on over 8,000 people, the BMI of men who are married and have become parents is significantly higher than that of bachelors.

When tying the knot, the man gains a companion and some extra pounds. This was an idea that was part of the pop culture, but now, studies are backing it up.

Researchers from the School of Management at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, led by Dr. Joanna Syrda wanted to know if there was a connection between married life and an increase in BMI for men. Marriage constituted one of the social factors that could increase the body mass index, the research team says.

The study was carried exclusively on heterosexual couples, using the data base of a previous study, the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, which was carried out between 1999 and 2013. Researchers gathered data from 8729 couples, including, aside from marital status and children, the body mass index. This information was provided by the participants every 2 years, over a period of 14 years.

Analyzing the data from this previous study, Dr. Syrda and her team observed that married men had 3 pounds (1,4 kg) more than unmarried ones.

Moreover, the husbands who were also fathers gained even more weight, mostly in the five years after the birth of their offspring.

Predictably or not, those going through a divorce lost weight. Their BMI was lower.


Married men’s BMI is higher than unmarried men’s. Becoming a father adds even more pounds.
Photo: Visualhunt


On the other hand, women’s weight was found to not be influenced by marital status or offspring.

The question that arises is “why?” Why do married men weigh more, sometimes to obesity?

One hypothesis is that singles, who tend to be looking for a partner, focus more on their fitness state and their overall looks. Another would be that married men eat less healthy and in bigger quantities, due to greater social engagement.