As a man with dad bod who’s about to get married in the fall, I’ve tried my best to eat better under the affable guidance of my health-nut editor (hey man!). At the very least, I don’t want my fiancée to see me at the altar and, envisioning me 30 pounds heavier a few years down the line, get spooked. But new research has found that men do gain weight after marriage, about three pounds on average. It may not seem like much, but it’s implications are significant when you consider additional research that’s already been done on the subject, which we’ll get to later.
The new study from the University of Bath found that married men tend to be fatter than those still on the prowl. While one may attribute this to the fact that married dudes no longer feel the need to impress, researchers believe the extra weight may also be caused by sudden changes in lifestyle.
“Those in relationships may eat more regular meals and/or richer and denser foods due to social obligations, which may arise because of marriage,” Dr. Joanna Sydra, the study’s lead author, concluded after collecting heaping amounts of data from 1999 to 2013.
In fact, research published in 2014 found that married men are, on average, 25 percent more likely to be overweight than single guys. Another study published in 2013 found that weight could be an indicator of how satisfied one is in their marriage; the more satisfied a couple, the more weight they both gained. Well, shit.
But don’t think ending a relationship will suddenly bring back your physique. Researchers from Ohio State University found that, while most women gain weight after marriage, men gain more after divorce. In a given two-year period, married women were nearly 50 percent more likely to gain a larger amount of weight than unmarrieds. However, men were 63 percent more likely to gain weight after divorce.
If you ever plan on getting hitched, chances are you’ll get fat—or at least fatter than you are currently. But that may not be such a bad thing. A new survey from Planet Fitness—yes, the gym—found that eight in 10 women are attracted toward men with dad bods as long as they’re confident.
Lucky for us, women’s standards are dropping. Almost half believed dad bods are the new six-pack. And, as if the missive was scribed in a romance novel, 83 percent of mothers said they’d be proud—as in, not ashamed—to have a husband with a dad bod. So, sure, if you get married, or married then divorced, you’re probably going to gain a few. But as long as you can work the dad bod like a Playmate works a lens, you’re pretty much the male ideal. And buddy, there ain’t no shame in your game.