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By Victoria Alwin

Dad bod!

Nutrition Corner


Years ago, a designer of male clothing was at the same conference I was at. He stated that the belt size on a man never changes; his in-seam gets shorter. Nowadays this phenomenon is called “Dad Bod.” Instead of having six-pack abs, some men have a keg and women reportedly find this change more appealing. The rationale seems to go to that the man gets flabbier as he is trying take care of his family, as well as deal with the demands and stresses of being a grown-up. This new body type is supposed to communicate to the female population that the guy in question cares more about taking care of his family than obsessing about keeping in shape. This is both good and bad.

Yes, the human body does seem to change with age. Having the ideal body has probably caused more trouble than benefit. Think of the folks who have had multiple surgeries to look like Barbie and Ken dolls. Long work hours and taking care of family (either young or old), as well as commuting stress, bills, etc. are bound to take a toll. Even if you aren’t at the office more than 40 hours per week, there are always the work related e-mails and texts on your cell phone. Acknowledging that “perfect bodies” might not make for a “perfect” life could be a good thing.

Downside? Non-dads have “dad bods” according to statistics put out by the Centers for Disease Control. Regardless of one’s marital status, the more stress one feels, the more abdominal fat is going to be created, partly because exercise and eating habits hit the skids. Also, there is the nightly or weekend six-pack of beer to deal with everything. “Beer belly” has that name for a reason. The more abdominal fat you have, or the wider your waistline, the greater the chance you have of developing: high blood pressure which can lead to artery wall damage, organ damage and stroke; heart disease (think heart attack); diabetes with a host of problems; and cancer. One quick way to judge is to measure your waist, at your real waist not where your waist used to be. The measurement should be about half your height. A man who is six feet tall should have a 36 inch waist.

If you think it is hard to watch your eating and exercise when you’re in your thirties, it gets harder with time, like your fifties or beyond. The body is more flexible in younger decades. Muscle is also lost with age if it isn’t used. Being sore isn’t fun at any age, but tolerance of it goes down with time.

Another thought: if “dad bods” are in, then “mom bods” are in too? No such luck ladies. Besides, perfect should never be “in” because it isn’t realistic and flabby might be softer, but poor health isn’t attractive for any gender or at any age. The consequences and solutions are the same for everyone: eat wisely and keep moving.


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