Most Men Say Okay to the ‘Dad Bod’ in Nationwide Survey on Men’s Health
MDVIP/Ipsos Study Shows Most Men Are Unaware of the Health Risks They Face
Boca Raton, Fla. – March 2, 2022 – MDVIP and Ipsos today released the results of a national study examining the current state of men’s health which finds that the majority of men are complacent and uninformed about their greatest health risks. Over half of the men (55%) surveyed say they’re okay with a “dad bod” – the characteristic paunchy physique that men can develop with age and that women reportedly desire. Moreover, a staggering 94% of men failed a Men’s Health IQ Quiz which tested their knowledge on the common health issues that afflict men.
The U.S. statistics on men’s health are concerning, with 3 in 4 men overweight or obese and 1 in 3 men having some form of cardiovascular disease. Yet, 84% of men rate their health as “excellent” or “good” in the MDVIP/Ipsos survey, suggesting that most men believe they’re in better shape than they are. Men with a dad bod typically carry excess belly fat, known as visceral fat, which surrounds vital organs and increases their risk for serious medical conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain cancers. Even at a normal body weight, the more fat men carry around their midsection, the more likely they are to die prematurely.
“While a dad bod may appear harmless and be socially accepted by both men and women, they need to understand that carrying that extra weight around the middle can have significant health consequences,” said Dr. Andrea Klemes, chief medical officer at MDVIP. “It’s equally important to recognize that abdominal obesity and the chronic diseases associated with it are highly preventable through changes in diet and exercise, routine screenings and regular checkups with a doctor. Men are notorious for avoiding medical care, so the key is encouraging them to put these healthy habits into practice, which our survey found is often influenced by their partners.”
The MDVIP/Ipsos survey sheds light on how significant others can help men take action on their health.
• 2 in 5 men have put off seeing a doctor until their symptoms were urgent (40%), and 1 in 3 avoided the doctor altogether out of fear of finding something wrong (30%).
• 4 in 5 men say their spouse/partner plays an important role in their health (78%).
• 45% of men have gone to the doctor because their spouse/partner insisted on it.
• 44% of men say they would be motivated to take better care of their health if their spouse/partner did.
“Interestingly, over a third of the men in our survey reported that they know more about their spouse or partner’s health issues than their own,” added Dr. Klemes. “And although they identified primary care physicians as the biggest influence in their health, men are typically on the defensive, waiting for an emergency to happen before seeing a doctor – when it’s sometimes too late. Men need to play better offense by partnering with a doctor who will coach them on ways to protect their physical and emotional well-being as they age.”
Other key findings
• Half of men say they’re concerned about their mental health (49%), but 3 in 5 have never discussed depression with their doctor (61%), and over 2 in 5 have never been screened for stress, anxiety or depression (43%).
• Nearly half of all men say they’re concerned about their sexual health/function (45%), but most fall short on knowing the facts about low testosterone (Low T) and erectile dysfunction (ED).
− 57% of men have never had, or don’t know if they’ve had, their testosterone levels checked.
− 3 in 4 men don’t know ED is a warning sign of heart disease (71%).
− 1 in 3 men incorrectly believe ED is usually caused by Low T (36%).
To take the MDVIP Men’s Health IQ Quiz, visit https://www.mdvip.com/MensHealthIQ.
About the Men’s Health Survey
These are the findings from an Ipsos poll conducted November 18-23, 2021, on behalf of MDVIP. For the survey, a sample of 1,026 adult men ages 20 and over from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii were interviewed online in English. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points for all respondents. For more information about Ipsos, please visit https://www.ipsos.com/en-us.