If diet and weight are as important to health and well-being as experts believe, American men need to make changes to what they eat and how often they exercise. They are overweight and suffer from years of ill health, even though per capita health care funding is the highest in the world. The statistics are interesting to read. First, an estimated 27.7 percent of American men aged 20-74 are obese. By comparison, obesity affects 19 percent of Australian men, 12 percent of French men, and only 3.6 percent of Japanese.
Second, the average lifespan of American men is 74.9 years, (Japan 77.8) of which an estimated 8 years live in poor health (Japan 6.5). Also significant are the negative health effects of the American diet on male immigrants from countries such as Japan, who tend to experience a noticeable increase in diet-related diseases such as obesity and heart disease.
Health Effects of Obesity In Men
Obesity has several adverse health effects. The most serious dangers include hypertension, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, although joint problems and psychosocial hardship can also be very distressing.
Obesity is a serious risk factor for hypertension, which affects 7 out of 10 obese men, and develops as follows. As the amount of fat tissue in the body increases, the heart is forced to pump more blood around the body to meet the extra demand for additional oxygen and nutrients. As this extra blood passes through the arteries, it increases pressure on the arterial walls, leading to higher blood pressure. Hypertension, which is sometimes referred to as “the silent killer”, is a significant contributor to cardiovascular disease.
Obesity is also classified as a major risk factor for heart disease, with almost 70 percent of diagnosed cases occurring in obese patients. The prevalence of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries) is 10 times higher in obese men compared to those who are not obese. This type of coronary artery disease occurs when fatty deposits build up on the walls of arteries that supply the heart, reducing blood flow, and increasing the risk of a heart attack.
Although the link is not fully understood, there is a clear association between obesity in men and an increased risk of colon and prostate cancers. It may be due to specific eating habits, such as overconsumption of red meat allied with the insufficiency of antioxidant-rich foods like fresh fruit and vegetables. The prevalence of prostate cancer in American males is 18.7 per 100,000, compared to 10.2 in Japanese men.
Obesity is a major cause of type 2 diabetes. Almost 8 out of 10 types 2 diabetics are obese. Even mild obesity significantly increases the risk of diabetes. Weight gain after the age of 18 is a special factor. Obesity is also closely related to insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and pre-diabetes.
Abdominal Obesity Even More Dangerous
While obesity, in general, is an important predictor of serious health problems in men, abdominal obesity – excess fat around the stomach – is an additional health risk, which is bad news for men because they usually store fat around their middle. Men under stress run a double risk because stress triggers the release of the hormone cortisol, which seems to stimulate fat storage around the stomach and abdomen.
Abdominal obesity is one of several interlinked disorders (the others being high cholesterol, high blood pressure, insulin resistance, high levels of inflammatory and coagulation components in the blood) that together form the condition known as metabolic syndrome. This condition has been identified as a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is estimated that 1 in 3 overweight or obese men has metabolic syndrome.
Health Benefits of Modest Weight Reduction
Although untreated obesity can have serious health consequences, even modest weight loss can bring noticeable health benefits. For example, a weight loss of as little as 10-20 pounds can eliminate the need for hypertension or type 2 diabetes medication. It can also raise HDL cholesterol (the good blood fats) and lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (the bad blood fats), reducing the risk of heart disease. However, the more weight you can steadily lose, the greater the health improvements, especially if you can reduce the amount of fat around your waist.
Diet Advice For Men
A nutritious calorie-controlled diet is a basis for sustainable weight loss. And don’t worry about reducing junk food. In my experience, a person’s appetite for high-fat or high-sugar foods drops dramatically within a few weeks of healthy eating. So if you want to lose weight but can’t enjoy a meal without a large plate of fatty red meat, a large portion of mayo or a bag of tortilla chips, try switching to a healthier diet for 2 weeks and see what a difference it makes to your taste buds.
(1) Improve your health and save money
Instead of just cutting back on calories and thinking “I have to go on a diet”, you make a point of choosing healthy food and think “I want to eat healthily”. You can even motivate yourself by focusing on the reduced health insurance costs you will achieve by getting in shape.
(1) Improve Your Health And Save Money
No diet plan fits every man. Moreover, eliminating all your favorite foods is not a winning weight loss strategy. As long as your normal daily diet is calorie-controlled (1500-1850 calories) and contains enough healthy food, you should be able to absorb a few treats without hampering your weight reduction. If the idea of joining Weight Watchers is not attractive, adjust an online diet plan, or find an individualized diet plan from a registered dietitian.
(3) Healthy Eating Guidelines For Men
As a general guide, choose foods that are low in fat – especially saturated or trans-fats – low in sodium, and less refined. To be more specific, eat at least five daily servings of fruit and vegetables – more is better. Also eat a wide variety of both, because different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients. Eat whole grains such as brown rice and wholemeal bread instead of white rice and white bread. Whole grain food is richer in nutrients and higher in both soluble and insoluble fiber compared to more processed products. Their extra fiber content means they help maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which reduces the risk of fluctuations in appetite and desire. Go easy on fat. Enjoy low-fat dairy products – remember that full-fat cheese is a huge source of saturated fat – and don’t add extra fat to foods in the form of mayo or sour cream. Stay away from crisps and other high-fat, high-sodium snacks.
(4) Men Who Enjoy Red Meat
Red meat, such as beef, lamb, and pork, is very nutritious. Unfortunately, it is also one of the main sources of saturated fat – the type involved in atherosclerotic heart disease. If you like red meat, make sure you remove all visible fat before eating and limit your intake to 3-4 3-ounce servings per week. Fish is a healthy alternative source of protein, especially oily fish such as mackerel, herring, and salmon, as well as skinless chicken and turkey.
(5) Eating Out For Men
If you’re serious about losing weight, be extra picky when going out to dinner or ordering takeaways. Here are some important tips. (1) Do not order fried food. (2) Look for light starters such as salads, non-cream soups, fish dishes. (3) Avoid starters with sauces. If necessary, ask them “out of the way”. Opt for plain fish, roasted lean steak, or tomato-based pasta. (4) Make sure half your plate contains vegetables, without added oil or butter. (5) Choose a fresh fruit dish for dessert, and if the offered cream says no.
(6) Men Who Enjoy Alcohol
For many men, giving up alcohol is a complete No-No. So let me give you some facts and you can choose. For starters, alcohol contains no nutrition. The calorie content is also quite high – about 7 calories per gram. Drinking a regular Martini a day is good for about 58,400 calories a year – the equivalent of about 16.5 pounds of body fat. One beer a day is almost the same. A better option is a 4oz glass of wine a day, which contains about half the calories of a Martini. Another problem to consider if you’re a man is the contribution that alcohol makes to your fat stomach. My experience is that overweight drinkers who give up alcohol experience an immediate reduction in abdominal size, which is very good news for their health.
Weight Loss Exercise For Men
Men usually don’t find it easy to include regular exercise in their daily schedule. More than 50 percent of American men do not take enough exercise. This is not good news because the medical benefits of regular exercise are compelling. Staying active is one of the most effective ways to protect ourselves from serious illness and maintain a good quality of life. This introduces the fundamental male dilemma. To achieve a comfortable standard of living for himself and his family, a man usually has to work extra hours instead of exercising. But by not exercising, he runs a much greater risk of serious illness, a crippling increase in insurance bills, and a sick retirement. Not easy choices, I’m afraid, although the rational decision should be to give more priority to exercise. This is especially true for men over 40.
For men who want to lose weight, I suggest that you first go to your doctor for a quick check-up. Then, if all goes well, I advise you to start with 45 minutes/day of light exercise. Do this for 2-3 weeks or until you notice clear benefits such as improved breathing, sleep, and appetite. Then gradually increase the duration and intensity of your exercise program to 60 minutes per day. The best way to avoid overexertion is to loosen up at the beginning of each training session and finish with stretching afterward.
Improved Lifestyle For Men
Quitting smoking is the top priority for any man with weight-related health problems. Another essential improvement is stress reduction or at least better stress management. This is because any stress that leads to a feeling that life is getting out of hand is a major contributor to disorderly eating, excessive alcohol consumption, and illness, as well as family problems. Moving to a less stressful job, reducing your work schedule or taking regular exercise are useful ways to reduce stress, and will help with weight loss and overall health. Spending more time with your family is also a great stress-reducing factor.
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