Study reveals that chubby guys with 'dad bods' are most attractive to women
Throughout history, society's idea of the ideal man has remained relatively consistent. The ancient Greeks and Romans built statues of huge, burly dudes with bulging biceps; kings across the ages were expected to be athletic and battle-hardened; and even today people speak of finding their knight in shining armour.
However, recent trends have suggested that the desire for muscular men might be going out of fashion, and that the sporty hunk may be replaced by the dorky chunk when it comes to women picking an ideal life partner.
Now, this may sound like a rumour started by men who would rather stay in and watch Netflix than go to the gym, but it's absolutely true - and we've even got the science to back it up.
Earlier this year, Planet Fitness conducted an anonymous online study of over 2,000 American men and women in order to find out what was considered the most attractive body type. Surprisingly, the survey showed that seven out of 10 women were actually more attracted to guys who were carrying up to 20 pounds of extra weight.
According to a 2015 article in the Washington Post, around 37 per cent of American men between the ages of 20 and 54 match this physical description - so there should be plenty of dad bod to go around.
The survey also found that 78 per cent of women believed tubbier men were more confident in their own skin, and more than four out of five moms would be proud to be married to someone who cut a more fatherly figure.
But the attraction does not seem to be merely aesthetic; some research has shown that there may be a biological reason why heterosexual women are more drawn to guys who have got a little more going on around the middle.
An anthropology professor at Yale University, Richard Bribiescas, has found that chubbier men might actually be healthier than gym-bro types. This is because weight gain is caused by decreasing levels of testosterone, which in turn leads to a stronger immune system, and means that tubbier fellas tend to have longer life spans.
“This change in body composition not only causes men to shop for more comfortable trousers but also facilitates increased survivorship and, hypothetically, a hormonal milieu that would more effectively promote and support paternal investment,” Bribiescas explains.
Basically, chunky lads make better dads. This probably explains why younger women will go for men with more chiselled physiques, but those looking to settle down in a relationship are less concerned with their partner's athleticism.
But before you go devouring all that Halloween candy you've got lying around, remember that it's still possible to have too much of a dad bod, and unhealthy dietary habits could lead to problems in the future. Regular exercise is still essential to maintaining a sustainable lifestyle, but it doesn't have to be all bench presses and pull-ups - the occasional jog will do just as well.
Essentially, as long as you keep everything in moderation, you can enjoy a healthy dad bod - plus all the ladies it apparently attracts.