A new study finds maybe having a “dad bod” isn’t such a bad thing after all. Researchers from The Ohio State University say people who enter adulthood at a normal weight and start to pack on the pounds later in life actually live the longest.
Associate professor of sociology Hui Zheng and his team looked at two generations of Americans, following the residents of one city in Massachusetts and their children for nearly 70 years. Their findings reveal young adults with a healthy body mass index (BMI) who gradually become overweight — but never obese — have the greatest lifespans. These adults even lived longer that those who kept a normal BMI throughout their whole life.
On the other hand, the dangers of obesity remained constant throughout the study. Children who start adulthood already obese and continue to gain weight have the highest mortality rates, researchers say.
“The impact of weight gain on mortality is complex. It depends on both the timing and the magnitude of weight gain and where BMI started,” Hui Zheng says in a university release.
“The main message is that for those who start at a normal weight in early adulthood, gaining a modest amount of weight throughout life and entering the overweight category in later adulthood can actually increase the probability of survival.”