India is home to the third-highest number of obese and overweight people, according to recent reports.
Obesity is categorised on the basis of BMI, which is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres.
Obesity is often associated with laziness and a sedentary lifestyle, which may often percolate into sex lives as well. In men, it also significantly decreases the time they can maintain an erection.
Men who are obese tend to have lower levels of testosterone — the male sex hormone — that helps in development of male sexual organs and strong bones. The reduced levels of this hormone may at times lead to erectile dysfunction.
“Obesity is directly linked to hormonal imbalance and lower testosterone levels, which, in turn, can inhibit sexual desire in men,” Tarun Mittal, Consultant Surgeon (Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery), Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, told.
“The increased body fat leads to more sex hormone binding globulins (SHBG) in the system. SHBG is a natural chemical that binds to testosterone, which means that there is less of the sex hormone left to handle the demands of a normal sex life,” Mittal added.
Also, obesity increases the risk of developing a number of serious health conditions, including coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea, gallstones, other heart disease and various types of cancer.
“Obesity can lead to heart problems, breathing difficulties, joint problems and sudden cardiac death,” Ashish Bhanot, Chief Bariatric Surgeon, Apollo Spectra Hospitals, New Delhi, told.
“With a high risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, obesity may also take an emotional toll, as some may experience depression, feelings of social isolation, discrimination and an overall lower quality of life,” Bhanot added.