What Is 'Dadbod' — And Is It Healthy?


Jason Segel circa 2010 = “Dadbod.” (Photo: Getty Images/Jean Baptiste Lacroix)

Have you heard of “Dadbod” yet?

It’s a relatively new term used to describe a not-so-new body type, and the Internet is now a-frenzy. Someone who has a Dadbod is someone who was probably a pretty good athlete back in school, but then maybe let himself go as he entered adulthood (slowed metabolism, less exercise, and maybe too many calories from beer). No six-packs here.

As Mackenzie Pearson of The Odyssey, who’s responsible for the recent popularity of the term, puts it: The Dadbod says, “I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.“


Leonardo DiCaprio… example of a “Dadbod.” (Photo: Twitter)

While every man with a “Dadbod” has surely come to that body type in his own unique way, New York magazine has created a sample diet that would likely lead to the composition:

Breakfast: Orange Gatorade and a Clif Bar
Snack: Protein powder mixed into JIF, smeared on a single slice of white bread
Lunch: Two Trader Joe’s frozen burritos and a Wendy’s Frosty (no fries for dipping)
Snack: Two-thirds of a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, two Coors beers
Dinner: Six slices of a large Papa John’s pepperoni pizza dipped in garlic-butter sauce and three Budweisers

Related: 10 Reasons Your Belly Fat Isn’t Going Away

But is the Dadbod something that should actually be desired? While some say it exudes an air of “I don’t take care of my body,” others consider it a plus because it alleviated any pressure on one’s significant other to look perfect.


Jon Hamm has a borderline “Dadbod.” (Photo: Twitter)

Pearson noted that her embrace of (and preference for) the Dadbod has inadvertently started “a movement for positive male body image, which is something I don’t think our culture realized we needed,” she told Buzzfeed.

But, as New York magazine photo editor Emily Shornick said, “I can’t stop thinking about how offended I would be if men were talking about the ‘Mombod.’”


Adam Sandler. Yup… Dadbod. (Photo: Twitter)

And while those with “Dadbods” may work out sporadically, in general, that belly fat they keep around their middles is known to be unhealthy, notes nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, founder of Nutritious Life.

“Weight around the midsection is more closely related to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes,” she tells Yahoo Health, noting that people who have Dadbods are not naturally “a little bit bigger.” “It’s not like it’s part of aging, where things happen as you get older” that are inevitable, she says.

"We should embrace people of all different shapes and sizes — and that’s wonderful — but for their health, if you want them to be around for the long haul, you will want to motivate them” to exercise and eat healthy — and shed the belly fat, Glassman says.

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