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'Dad bods' are healthier and sexier, says science

Embrace the paunch of parenthood

'Dad bods' are healthier and sexier, says science

Have you noticed a widening around the sides lately? Is your once-taut stomach starting to sag ever so slightly over the belt? Has become a tad harder to shift those extra pounds than it was just three years ago?

Well, the bad news is that you’re getting old. The good news, though, is you’re about to become the sexiest you’ve ever been.

According to a new book by Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology and deputy provost at Yale University, chubby older fathers are the absolute best – healthier, better at passing on genes than slimmer men, and more attractive.

Yes, you read that correctly – more attractive.

Bribiescas’ book, How Men Age, puts forward the “pudgy dad hypothesis”, arguing that reduced levels of testosterone after becoming a father make men concentrate more on being a dad than chasing other women.

The reduction in testosterone also leads to a natural weight gain, which – contrary to popular belief – could actually have health benefits.

One study from 2008 found that men with high metabolisms (i.e. those much slimmer mates you secretly envy) are 50 per cent more likely to die.

There’s also evidence that chubbier men are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and prostate cancer, while another recent study in Latvia suggested they were more sexually attractive to women. Of course, that’s not much use when you’re too busy doing LEGO with the kids to worry about the ladies, but it’s always nice to know.

There are some negatives, of course. Prof Bribiescas says that men generally age faster because we’re pretty useless about going to the doctors, eating properly, or maintaining a general level of wellbeing.

He says, “While men are on average larger and physically stronger than women, men have a considerable weakness. We have a harder time fighting off infections and illness compared with women, and… men simply do not take care of themselves. This has a significant negative impact on the pace at which men age.”

OK, so we might age a bit faster, but one the whole it's good news for those of us who waste too much time stressing about missed trips to the gym and the ever expanding waist size. Indeed, it's a sign that you should embrace the inevitable – your impending dad bod could actually do you the world of good.

Now pass the chips.