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Is Obesity more deadly for Men?



It’s the second leading cause of death in America just behind smoking. Studies show obesity is associated with an increased risk of death before the age of 70.

Dr. Lee Coghill, a family medicine resident with Lee Health, says new research shows the risks are greater for men who are obese. “There are really strong studies that show an increase for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and lots of different cancers with them. When we look at males specifically, their risk increase in premature death is 11 percent compared to a normal person to an obese person, whereas for women there was only a four percent death.”

But more research is needed to explain why. “We know that being male just in general is associated with a higher risk of strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes and insulin resistance,” said Dr. Coghill.

Doctors say obesity can be influenced by non-modifiable risks, like age, genetics, and gender, as well as modifiable risks like diet and exercise. “Some of the modifiable risk factors are fast foods, sugary beverages, physical inactivity, child obesity, which we can combat, and breast feeding, which can decrease the risk of childhood and lifelong obesity,” said Dr. Coghill.

Doctors recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week and cutting down on high calorie meals and snacks. “We know if someone eats 50 to 60 calories extra per day for an entire year, they will gain about 5 pounds,” said Dr. Coghill.

Small, every day choices that could improve your health and help save your life.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/

Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.

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