While most men may dread the onset of the “dad bod” or the slightly out-of-shape physique commonly associated with the working father, some research suggests that this age-related loss of muscle tone may not be entirely bad. According to Richard Bribiescas, a professor of anthropology at Yale University, pudgy older fathers may live longer, be seen as more attractive, and may be better at passing on their genes than younger, slimmer men.

Bribiescas, author of the book "How Men Age: What Evolution Reveals About Male Health and Mortality" explained that often times, weight gain in men is due to decreasing testosterone. Lower levels of testosterone may help to strengthen the immune system and, in the long, lengthen their lives, The Telegraph reported. In addition to helping strengthen the immune system, being pudgy may urge men to spend more time with their children and less time chasing other women.

“This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and, hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment,” explained Bribiescas to The Telegraph.

Weight gain is very common, especially among first-time dads, with one study citing that the typical six-foot man who becomes a dad and lives with his children gains an average of 4.4 pounds after fatherhood. Fathers who do not live with their children gain about 3.3 pounds after fatherhood.

While it is true that extra body fat is necessary for a healthy immune system, too much extra fat can do the exact opposite. According to the National Institutes of Health, extra weight can increase your chances of developing a number of health problems, from type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, to heart disease and even some types of cancer.

As for women finding pudgy men more attractive, this seems to be simply up to the woman's own taste. While Bribiescas' research may suggest that older pudgy “dad bods” are what the ladies are looking for, other studies suggest that some women go for leaner men, as it is a sign of a high metabolism and therefore good genes for potential offspring. In addition, according to The Telegraph, slim bodies are also often a sign of higher sex drives and higher sperm counts, two equally important qualities for reproduction.

Read More:

Dad Bod Is Real: Weight Gain Is Common Among First-Time Fathers: Read Here

Photo Of Dedicated Dad Sleeping Under Son’s Hospital Bed Goes Viral, Melts Hearts: Read Here