On Your Health

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Obesity Raises Health Risks in Men


by Bassam Bilal, M.D., Internal Medicine

Obesity affects men and women about equally but you may be surprised to learn that men bear a particular burden since obesity takes a special toll on male hormones. Continuing our focus for Men's Health month, Dr. Sam Bilal has more on why it's so important for men to win in the battle against obesity.

Hello. My name is Bassam Bilal and I'm an INTEGRIS Health Internist. June is Men's Health Month. And I'm here to talk to you about obesity in men.

It's no secret that overweight and obesity are big problems in the United States. At present 2/3 of all Americans need to lose weight and the number of overweight children and adults is growing at an alarming rate. Excess body fat raises the levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while also lowering the good cholesterol, the HDL levels. Obesity impairs the bodies responsiveness to insulin, raising blood sugar and insulin levels, but obesity does more than produce bad numbers. It also leads to bad health, increasing the risk of heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, gall stones, kidney stones, cancer, osteoarthritis, obstructive sleep apnea, fatty liver, and depression.

All in all obesity is a killer. In fact, obesity and lack of exercise are responsible for about 1,000 American deaths every day. And if present trends continue, they will soon overtake smoking as the leading preventable cause of death in the US. Obesity affects men and women about equally, but you may be surprised to learn that men bear particular burden, since obesity takes a special toll on male hormones, sexuality, fertility, and prostate health, raising the risk of prostate cancer.

Shedding excess pounds is hard but possible. The proven method is to adjust your diet to take in fewer calories and ramp up your exercise to burn off more calories.

If you suffer from obesity, please discuss that with your primary care physician as soon as possible. 

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