Do More Kids Make Dad Healthier?

Others have looked at the new study and hold that Eisenberg's "maybe" is actually the "more likely" of the two choices. It appears more likely that marriage and especially fatherhood have a healthy effect on men. In fact, just last July, research came out showing that family men typically got help quicker when they had a heart attack. A recent health news report even concluded by saying:

Marriage has proved to be beneficial to men's health in numerous other studies. Previous research shows that married men live longer, are happier and adopt healthier lifestyles than single men. Married men are also less likely to engage in aggressive or illegal behavior.

I've always said one of the most important reasons a man should get married is so he can stop being such a jerk and idiot all the time.

Wives help us see when we are either being pompous or reckless. Is it any stretch to see how having more children furthers this maturation process?

Northwestern University Assistant Professor Craig F. Garfield looked at Eisenberg's study and noticed a clear connection that fatherhood leads to healthier choices:

What surprised me was how much these fathers really tried to clean up their act. For example, many of them described cutting down on risky behaviors such as smoking, partying, and hanging out in risky situations. These fathers tried to eat better and they tried to exercise more. They really saw themselves as important role models for their children, regardless of whether their child was a boy or a girl. … They described wanting to "be there" for their child as the child got older, and part of that meant that the dad needed to take care of himself today — eat right, exercise, stay out of trouble — so he could be there as the child grows. That can be a powerful motivator for men.