MEN with beer bellies are less likely to become dads as the extra inches around the waist harm fertility, researchers have found.
Experts at Harvard University found that a beer belly reduces a man’s chance of becoming a dad by almost 50 per cent.
They warned that men with pot bellies were at an increased risk and said that every two inches on a man’s waist cuts his odds of having a baby by 10 per cent.
Doctors in the US measured and weighed 180 men and women before they started treatment courses of IVF.
They found that every two inch increase around a man’s waist cut his partner’s chances of conceiving by 9 per cent after each IVF attempt.
The researchers said that if a man’s waist measures 40 inches then they would be a third less likely to become a father than one who has a smaller 32 inch waist circumference.
Professor Charles Kingsland, clinical director at Care Fertility Clinics said: “Pot-bellied men, beware”.
Reproduction is a team sport and focusing exclusively on women may obscure an important part of the picture
Dr Jorge Chavarro
This is due to the fact that the study found that beer bellies were the biggest issue.
Men with a spare tyre around their waist slashed their chances by 46 per cent.
Fat produces a chemical that turns testosterone into oestrogren, the female sex hormone.
This in turn makes it more difficult for couples to conceive.
In order to determine whether or not other lifestyle choices played a role, the Harvard experts also factored in whether or not the man was a smoker, as well as a woman’s age and weight.
Speaking at the European Society for Human Reproduction’s annual conference, one expert said men also need to prepare for pregnancy – not just women.
Researcher Dr Jorge Chavarro said flab stored around the middle can be more harmful than other fat.
“These results highlight that reproduction is a team sport and focusing exclusively on women may obscure an important part of the picture.”
Obese men are less likely to be able to have children as they produce less sperm than men who are of a healthy weight.
Their DNA is also more damaged which hinders the swimming of the sperm, meaning it cannot get to the female eggs.
The UK’s obesity issues have been a hot topic in recent months as research has shown that people who are overweight are at higher risk of dying from the coronavirus.
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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is leading the way in the fight against obesity as it is rumoured he believed his own battle with Covid-19 was so intense due to his weight.
He is thought to have weighed over 17 stone when diagnosed with the virus.
In the UK around one in seven couples have issues conceiving and many turn to IVF.
Around 50 per cent of the time male infertility is the cause.
This is while in the UK two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.
The average man’s waistline is 1.5 inches bigger than it was in 1993 and currently sits at 38.2 inches.