Aim:  To determine the body mass index (BMI) and the body composition of fathers‐to‐be and to compare the findings with those of mothers‐to‐be during early pregnancy.
Methods:  This was a descriptive and comparative study based at a large university teaching hospital. We enrolled men whose partner booked for antenatal care in the first trimester of pregnancy during July 2009. The height and weight of both parents‐to‐be were measured digitally, and BMI was calculated. The body compositions of the couple were analysed using bioelectrical impedance.
Results:  Of 167 fathers‐to‐be, 14% were obese (BMI > 29.9 kg/m2) compared with 16% of mothers‐to‐be (NS). However, 50% were overweight (BMI 25.0–29.9 kg/m2) compared with 26% of mothers‐to‐be (P < 0.001). This may be explained, in part, because the men were on average two years older than the women, and in the men, BMI increased with age. The men had a lower overall fat percentage (P < 0.001), but their visceral fat was higher than in the women (P < 0.001). Conclusion:  Our findings show a high level of obesity in fathers‐to‐be, which has implications not only for the men themselves but also their families. We suggest that public health interventions directed at obesity during pregnancy should include both parents‐to‐be.