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Do you have a dad bod? This flow chart will tell you

Seth Rogen, Dad Bod Incarnate. EPA/NINA PROMMER

"In case you haven't noticed lately, girls are all about that dad bod," wrote Clemson University sophomore Mackenzie Pearson a few weeks ago. A dad bod, as she defines it, "is a nice balance between a beer gut and working out. The dad bod says, 'I go to the gym occasionally, but I also drink heavily on the weekends and enjoy eating eight slices of pizza at a time.'"

National media picked up on this last week, sparking a flurry of Red-Hot DadBod takes: Do women love the dad bod, or do they hate it? Is the dad bod sexist? Who are Hollywood's hottest dad bods? Where are the mom bods?

[I have a dad bod. Here's why women love it.]

The Great Dad Bod Debates of 2015 could benefit from some clarity, as the definition of "dad bod" has remained wobblier than Seth Rogen's abs. There's so much about the dad bod that we don't know: What even is a dad bod? How many dad bods are there? Most importantly: how do I know if I have one? 

To answer that last question, we've created this flow chart that will make it very easy for you to figure out, based on your height and weight, if you have a dad bod (somewhat subjectively using a body mass index of 25 to 29.9, overweight but not obese). Read beyond the chart for some answers to those other questions about the state of the dad bod in America.

But, of course, not every man with a BMI in this range will qualify as a dad bod. Dad bods probably excluded people under 20 and above 54. That covers most millennials, all Gen Xers, and some young Boomers too.

[The 'dad bod': Where the beer gut and six-pack meet]

This, then, is our quantitative definition of the dad bod: a man between the ages of 20 and 54, with a BMI between 25 and 29.9. Jon Hamm is 44 years old, 6'2'' and 200 pounds, by his estimate -- that gives him a BMI between 25 and 26, squarely in dad bod territory. Seth Rogen: 5'11, 194 pounds and 33 years old -- dad bod for sure. Jason Segal: 6'4", 215 pounds, 35 years old -- you don't get any more dad bod than that. (The range of these dad bods shows that BMI isn't always a great indicator of body shape: very muscular people, for example, could have a high BMI but not be the slightest out of shape.)

The next question: how many dad bods are there in the U.S.? The CDC helpfully tracks the percent of people overweight by sex and age. As of 2012 32 percent of American men age 20 to 34 were overweight, as were 40 percent of 35-44-year-olds and 41 percent of 45-54-year-old men. Multiplying those numbers by Census population counts gives us 10.5 millennial dad bods, 8.1 million dad bods aged 35 to 44, and 9.2 million aged 45 to 54.

So dad bod nation is about 27.8 million strong. Dad bods make up 8.9 percent of the total U.S. population, 18 percent of all American men, and 37 percent of men between the ages of 20 and 54. If dad bods were a state they'd be bigger than Texas.

If they were a country, they'd be larger than Australia.


The Washington Post’s Peter Holley is unashamedly the owner of a "dad bod" — he explains what that is and shares some of the reaction he's received since writing about his physique. (Video: Jhaan Elker/The Washington Post)