In ironic hipster circles, having a dad bod can be funny and even coveted. But if you’re glossing the pages of a fitness magazine or watching a movie starring Ryan Gosling, you’d get a different impression.
Luckily for the dad bods of the world, some encouraging research comes from Richard Bribiescas, professor of anthropology and ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University. His new book, How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality, contends that chubbier dads enjoy longer, healthier lives than dads who look great in speedos.
Gaining a fair amount of weight after fathering children strengthens the immune system, per Bribiescas. This claim bolsters a 2008 study which found that men with high metabolisms were 50% more likely to die (!) in a given year compared to their slow energy-burning counterparts. Vive le dad bod, indeed.
These claims shatter society’s ideal of a man's rippled physique. “Macho makes you sick,” Prof Bribiescas writes in his book. “The Hollywood image of the swaggering, dashing man dispatching bad guys and carrying the day conjures up a perception of indestructibility...“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.”