Prevalence of Male Obesity
The last two and a half decades have witnessed a significant increase in overweight among men of all ages. Studies show that 27 out of 100 American men aged 20-74 years are obese (BMI > 30). This compares with 19 percent of Australian males, 12 percent of French males and 3.6 percent of Japanese men.
Health Risks Of Male Obesity
The health risks of obesity in men are well documented. They include higher incidence of hypertension, heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Hypertension (raised blood pressure), which is sometimes called the “silent killer”, is a major contributor to heart disease. It affects 7 out of 10 obese men. In addition, obesity is an independent risk factor for heart disease. For example, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is 10 times higher in obese men compared to those who are not obese. Male obesity is also associated with an increased risk of prostate and colon cancer. It is also a significant cause of type 2 diabetes, with almost 80 percent of type 2 diabetics being classified as obese.
Abdominal obesity – excess fat around the middle – is an added health risk for men as they typically store fat around their stomach. Men who suffer from stress are doubly at risk as stress is known to cause increased production of the hormone cortisol, which appears to stimulate fat storage around the abdomen. Abdominal obesity is one of several interlinked conditions (the others being raised cholesterol, hypertension, insulin resistance, high levels of inflammatory and clotting components in the blood) that together form the condition known as insulin resistance syndrome. This health condition has been identified as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. An estimated 1 in 3 of obese males have insulin resistance syndrome.
See also: How To Reduce A Fat Belly
Reducing Weight Improves Health
The good news for obese men is that even modest weight loss can bring noticeable health benefits. For instance, weight reduction of only 10-20 pounds can reduce or even eliminate the need for diabetic or hypertensive medication. In addition, weight loss raises good (HDL) cholesterol and reduces bad (LDL) cholesterol, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. The more body fat that is lost, the greater the health improvement, especially if it includes abdominal fat from around the middle.
How To Lose Weight If You Are Male
Unless your doctor recommends otherwise, I suggest you forget about surgery or drugs as a means of reducing weight. Instead, I strongly recommend a combination of three things.
- A nutritious eating-plan
- Regular physical exercise
- Proper support to help you achieve your goals
In my experience, no matter how much fat you need to lose, a weight loss program which includes these three elements gives you every opportunity of success.
Healthy Eating Is The Key To Success
Take my word for it, a healthy, calorie-controlled eating plan is the foundation for lasting weight loss. I have helped hundreds of men with severe obesity to normalize their weight, by getting them to focus on healthy eating rather than “dieting”. This approach is more sustainable than simply counting calories.