22 September 2012
If medical research is to be believed, then matrimonial advertisements will now need to have a different look. Beside the education in their careers and the balance in their banks, obese prospective grooms will need to pack potency in their pants and fertility in their hormones.
Studies have shown that obesity in males is strongly linked to a drop in fertility rates owing to abnormal semen parameters among heavier men. In fact, endocrine studies have demonstrated reduced androgen (male hormone) levels accompanied by abnormally elevated oestrogen (female hormone) values in obese men. What does this mean? Young and middle-aged overweight men, along with their altered lifestyle factors, have a scientific hypothesis for their sexual dysfunction. The word ‘obesity’ is derived from the Latin term ‘obesus’, which means ‘one
who has become plump through eating’. While the obvious negative effect of obesity on an individual’s health has been known for long, these new revelations should send alarm signals to the ‘big fat’ obese man.
Have we really understood why the male testes hang outside the body while the ovaries in women are
intra-abdominal? The reason is that spermatogenesis (sperm production) is adversely affected by the higher body temperature and thus the testes are pushed out to be in a lower thermal environment. In obese men, the abnormal fat deposition around the abdominal area and in specific in the scrotum, tends to increase the local testicular heat. This, along with the obesity induced decreased physical activity, dampens testicular function.
(Dr Hemant Thacker is a consultant physician & cardiometabolic specialist in south Mumbai hospitals)