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Expectant fathers urged to get healthy
[Posted: Mon 22/08/2011 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
Doctors have urged fathers-to-be to take better care of their health, after new Irish research showed that one in six of them is obese.
Prof Michael Turner of Dublin's Coombe Hospital said fathers need to exercise more, eat healthily and give up smoking.
He was commenting on a new study by doctors at the Coombe which shows that one-in six expectant fathers were obese, half of them were overweight and only one one-in-three had a normal body mass index (BMI).
Prof Turner pointed out that obese men were likely to get diabetes and heart disease and were in danger of dying young.
"This is bad news, not just for fathers but also for families if they are not able to care or provide for mothers and their children through ill-health or death."
The Coombe study shows that obesity among fathers is as common as it is among mothers in Ireland.
He said fathers should act responsibly and promote a healthy lifestyle for themselves and their whole family.
The Coombe research shows that fathers-to-be have a high level of what is known as visceral fat, more commonly known as 'beer belly', and this is a major risk factor for developing heart disease and diabetes.
It was also found that 40% of the expectant fathers studied continued to smoke.
The research, by a team led by Dr Ross Kelly, is published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
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