14 July 2005

Obese Men In Greater Trouble

We all know obesity is bad for us. Recent findings rub it even harder by saying that obese men "may be in worse shape than obese women."

Dutch researchers led by Dr Emile Dubois studied 22 men and 34 women, each with a BMI of 40 and classified as obese. [If you want to know your BMI, go here.] They analyzed each individual's ability to metabolise the sugars found in carbohydrates, and they also studied their performance levels in various exercise tests.

Researchers found out that men generally failed to meet expectations on the cycle test while women demonstrated better lung capacity and significantly better endurance than the men.
Overall, 59 percent of the men had overt diabetes or were carbohydrate intolerant compared to 35 percent of the women.

The women also performed better on exercise endurance tests and had better lung function than the men.

The researchers said their findings might be explained by the different distribution of body fat in men, who store it in the upper body, compared to women, who store it lower down on their hips and bottom.

Co-author Dr Dave Schweitzer said: "It is possible that women are better equipped for energy storage due to their inherent need to feed their offspring.

"When food is abundant, such as in modern society, both genders may become obese, but men simply do not have the reserve capacity to handle excess food, which puts extra stress on their bodies, causing decreased performance and, possibly, illness."

[ BBC News Health, Jul 13 2005]

I have long known that the assertion that men is the stronger sex was nothing but hot air and braggadocio. More often than not, men are always on the losing end biologically.

Another good reason to exercise more and eat correctly.

Based on latest online data available, the prevalence of obesity in medical practice in the Philippines is 21 percent. Personally, I think that the reported figure is an underestimation as there are no updated studies available, and patients here would seldom consult because of overweight or obesity concerns.

2 reactions:

bayi said...

I guess I am in trouble though I don't have diabetes. I have a BMI of about 30. Luckily I am able to cut my carb consumption to a minimum without much trouble. I have friends who can't. I will have to look for other ways to further strengthen my immune system.

Dr. Emer said...

BMI isn't always an accurate way of measuring obesity, Bayi. While it is the generally accepted way of measuring obesity, it has its limitations. For example, people like the current governor of California will also have a higher BMI than expected, but he is not obese.

You may want to try the Waist-To-Hip Ratio. Tell me what you get.