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Are Britain's dads a heart attack waiting to happen?

Three out of five British dads are out of shape putting them at greater risk of heart disease as well as affecting their family relationships, according to research published on the eve of Men’s Health Week 2012.

Yolo posterFinishing the family’s left over food, ordering takeaways at work and hours spent lazing in ‘dad’s chair’ are just some of the habits that have lead one in five fathers to suffer a health scare. The study of 2,000 dads commissioned by Benenden Healthcare Society and the MHF also found that 40% aren’t able to pull their weight in the family home because they are too exhausted after work.

The findings show that the average dad puts on 1.6 stone (10.43 kg) after becoming a father.

Dr Ian Banks, president of the Men’s Health Forum said: 'Men can face an uphill struggle with their health when they become fathers. The survey shows even their kids know it. Heart disease is the biggest cause of premature death in men.

'We’re saying in our new cheeky poster campaign (right) that you only live once - if you want to be around to see your kids grow up you need to stay healthy.'

Apparently at least one man in four sneaks in naps during weekdays in order to cope while one in twenty have even snoozed while on the toilet at work. One in five dads has texted someone they knew was in the same house to avoid getting out of their seat.

The kids notice

Some 20% of dads have fallen asleep while in the middle of reading to their children.

The study also quizzed 500 young adults (aged 18-30) on their dad’s health – with three in ten having cause to suspect their dad might be suffering from a more serious health issue. A concerned 60% say their dad isn’t fit or very healthy and half of young adults feel their dad is overweight.

Paul Keenan, External Affairs Manager at the health & wellbeing mutual, Benenden Healthcare Society, said: 'The modern lifestyle is a hectic one and this study clearly shows the impact this is having on fatherhood. As we approach Father’s Day, we discover that the modern dad’s health is suffering under the strain from diverging pressures such as work and family life.

'As a result, dads are taking shortcuts with their diets - leading to increased weight, a more sedentary lifestyle and eventually running the risk of health scares.

'Men’s Health Week’s You Only Live Once campaign is highlighting the fact that heart disease is the biggest killer of men in the UK, and these results show how many men are hurtling towards increasing strain on the heart.'

Page created on June 11th, 2012

Page updated on June 11th, 2012