It’s no secret that we have an issue with weight in this country, and having a few extra pounds and not looking and feeling our best isn’t something that only women have to worry about.
Becoming an overweight man is something all of us should be mindful of and do our best to prevent, saving ourselves from the onslaught of mental and physical consequences that can occur as a result of it.
Becoming overweight is scarily easy to do, and all it takes is some poor eating habits and a desire to spend all your free time watching Netflix on the couch to achieve it.
As men, there are so many negative effects that this type of lifestyle can have, and not just the obvious ones that you might think of first.
What can men do to prevent obesity in their future?
The key to a healthy weight and body is regular exercise and a balanced diet. As we naturally put on weight as we age, it’s important to build a solid foundation and regular routine of healthy lifestyle choices so that we can stick with them through our older years.
Even if you’re at a healthy weight now, this can change as you get older, and it should be a priority for everyone to take care of their health at all ages.
We’re going to explore the phenomenon of male obesity, how you can prevent it happening to you, and the possible side effects that come with this huge health risk.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Statistics On Male Obesity
- 2 The Role Of Genetics In Obesity
- 3 Why Men Gain Weight As They Age
- 4 Negative Effects Of Obesity On Males
- 5 Tips For Staying A Healthy Weight
- 6 Related Questions
The Statistics On Male Obesity
The United States has always been at the center of the obesity crisis, and the prevalence of it among men only appears to get worse as the years go on.
Of course, there are sometimes medical explanations for why someone might be overweight, but for most of us, we’ve become accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle and the comfort of fast food and taking the easy way out.
A survey published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in the late 1970s found that 47% of men were overweight and 15% were obese. In 2004, the same survey found that now 71% of men were overweight and 31% were obese.
The CDC reported that in 2017 through to 2018, the national obesity rate was a shocking 42.4%, which is a huge trend upwards and a worrying fact.
When compared with women, who put extra weight on their breasts, hips, arms, and legs, men usually put theirs on around the waist.
This leads to the oversized belly which does a lot more damage internally, as it circulates through the liver and can cause a range of extra problems that women aren’t as exposed to.
The Role Of Genetics In Obesity
While a lot of our less-than-ideal weights can be blamed on a lack of exercise and love for fried foods, sometimes there’s more to it than that.
Although genetics can’t be blamed for this huge increase in cases of obesity in such a short amount of time, it is fair to say that not all men are the same in how easily they put on weight.
There have been numerous studies done on the role of genetics in weight, and they always find that genes can have an impact on how much or little weight someone gains, with some of being more predisposed to weight gain than others.
Even two people eating the same foods and the same number of calories will gain totally different amounts, so we have to take responsibility for our own diet and exercise, rather than comparing it to someone else.
Why Men Gain Weight As They Age
You’ve probably already noticed that when you look back on your high school or college-era photos, you look pretty different than you used to.
Most notably, your weight has increased a lot, and there’s a good chance you have a different body type and shape altogether.
This is not some unexplained phenomena and it’s a very real thing that happens to the human body, giving us yet another reason why we have to be careful not to let things slide when it comes to weight.
After the age of 35, experts agree that there’s no need for men to gain any more weight, and so what happens to your existing body’s makeup can lead to obesity.
Any muscle you have can be replaced by fatty tissue, and this occurs more frequently as you get older.
Fatty tissue requires less energy to stay the same that muscle does, so it packs on quite easily, and leaves you with a lot of extra pounds that you had no idea could even be created.
If you find that you’ve put on over 20 pounds since your college days, you can probably blame this weight gain on lifestyle habits.
Although it’s completely normal to not look the same as you did when you were younger, any major weight gain is likely due to poor nutrition and a lack of exercise, as well as other lifestyle factors like drinking alcohol.
Negative Effects Of Obesity On Males
Obesity and being overweight isn’t healthy for men or women, but there are unique challenges that either group faces if they happen to fall into this category.
For men, these are some of the side effects you might notice if you become overweight or obese.
Overweight people miss out on the benefits that exercise has on their mental health, and feeling unwell and overweight can also lead to feelings of depression and anxiety.
When you have a healthy body, your mind will be healthy as well, so the two go hand in hand together.
The process of losing weight and making lifestyle changes for the better can give you a huge boost of self-confidence and improve your mental wellbeing.
Obesity causes your hormone levels to fluctuate which can impact how well your hair grows, even if being overweight itself isn’t a direct cause of losing hair.
If you’ve noticed more thinning or hair falling out, there’s a good chance that being overweight is wreaking havoc on your hormones and causing this premature baldness.
When we’re obese, our natural testosterone levels begin to dip, which can show up in many other ways in the male body.
Even just moderate obesity is enough to decrease testosterone because it reduces the number of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which carries testosterone through the blood.
The fat cells in your body can also turn testosterone to estrogen, which decreases levels also.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a common side effect of obesity in men and women.
When you’re overweight, you have a larger amount of fatty tissue, especially in the abdominal region, which means your heart has to work harder to pump blood.
This struggle causes your blood pressure to rise, which in itself is a serious symptom that can lead to other issues.
Men are more prone to kidney stones than women already, and especially if they’re overweight. As a serious and painful condition that hospitalizes many men each year, it’s something you want to avoid.
People with a higher BMI and larger waist circumference have a higher risk of developing renal stones, as well as uric acid stone disease and calcium oxalate.
The body has a natural approach to insulin that it uses to keep us healthy, but when you’re overweight, the number of things that help cause an insulin resistance increase.
Being obese leads to more glycerol, hormones, cytokines, and NEFA, which can all help the body create an insulin resistance, which then turns into the development of diabetes.
Being overweight can adverse effects on the health of your prostate and will put you at a much higher risk of developing something more serious, including prostate cancer.
Studies have found that obese men have a much greater chance of dying from prostate cancer than non-obese men.
Women aren’t the only ones who need to ensure they’re in good health if they want to have a baby, but their partners do as well.
Male obesity leads to a reduction of fatty acids in sperm that can affect the overall sperm count, the health of the sperm, and their vitality.
If you plan on having a baby soon, getting your health in check and maintain a healthy weight is essential.
Tips For Staying A Healthy Weight
When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady is the best approach, as you want to make gradual and realistic changes that you’ll be able to keep up with.
We’ve compiled some tips on losing weight that can help you see the changes you want and get you a healthy body that will last well into your elder years.
- Make a conscious effort to cut just one thing from your diet every few weeks, starting with the worst food choices like soda and candy. Once you’re used to not having it, find something else unhealthy and stop eating that as well.
- Avoid anything that promises to lose weight quickly, as this is generally not sustainable nor healthy to do. Avoid restrictive diets, starvation, excessive exercise plans, and cutting out whole food groups to lose weight.
- Find a qualified nutritionist or dietitian and make an appointment to see them. They can give you an initial weigh-in to see what your goals should be, and help you come up with healthy options for eating that you might not have thought of before.
- Do some trial classes for workouts in your local area until you find something that you enjoy. When you like what you do for exercise, you’ll never feel like it’s a chore to do it. Aim to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, and don’t be afraid to change things up.
- Invest in some basic ingredients and tools to start cooking for yourself at home and learn how to season food so you can enjoy healthier options. There are loads of good resources online for beginner chefs to start cooking delicious meals in their own kitchen.
- Install a calorie counting app on your phone and track what you eat on a regular day to get a true idea of how unhealthy your usual diet it. Come up with a meal plan and put it into the calorie counter to make sure you’re getting adequate nutrition.
Gaining weight to an unhealthy level is never something we strive to do, but it can happen so gradually for the modern man that we find ourselves struggling to get it back off again.
If you want to make changes towards a healthier lifestyle and see a smaller number on the scales, we’ve answered some FAQs that would help today’s overweight man get some clarity.
What Is Considered Obese?
Obesity is generally calculated using the body mass index scale, and anything equal to or greater than 30 is considered obese, also equating to at least 30 pounds of excess weight.
The healthy weight that a man should be aiming for is a BMI between 19 and 25, with a BMI between 26 and 30 being overweight, but this number can vary depending on other factors.
What Causes Obesity?
Many things contribute to obesity like genetics, medical conditions, and hormones, but usually, it’s because people are eating more calories than they’re burning through physical activity.
To establish how much energy you need to take in compared to how much you expand, you can work out your basal metabolic rate to see what you should be aiming for.