LIFESTYLE NEWS - Obesity is nearly three times more deadly for men than it is for women.
Experts say while obesity and the negative health consequences affect both men and women, being obese has shown to take a special toll on men affecting, among other things, their hormones, sexuality and prostate health.
Research done in 2016 revealed that nearly 4 million men and women globally who were at risk of dying before the age of 70 was 19 per cent for men and 11 per cent for women of normal weight. These risks jumped to 30 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively, for obese men and women.
In previous studies researchers believed that part of the reason for this could been because obese men have greater insulin resistance, higher liver fat levels and are at a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to obese women.
Dr Gary Hudson, a Johannesburg-based physician with a special interest in obesity and metabolic disorders, estimates that up to 70 per cent of men in South Africa are overweight, and alarmingly 20 per cent are obese.
“Obesity in men seems to also affect the white population the most. Weight training and bulking from a young age for contact sports as one of the reasons for this, along with high levels of steroid use and abuse is playing a role in the development of obesity in the later years,” said Hudson.
His research has found that while men tend to be active until the age of 20, exercise seems to start tapering off after that. By 40 years of age, only 30 per cent remain active and very few do cardiovascular training, with most rather concentrating on weight training.
He adds that men’s portions are simply too big.
“Men also tend to have higher fat and protein meals than females, and consume more alcohol and soft drinks than women. Interestingly, males who are obese have low hormones while females have high hormones,” he added.