As resources, technology, and studies continue to enhance, more and more health issues are being discovered with a correlation to obesity. This next one is sexual health.

Scientists are finding that men who are on their way (if they aren’t already) to obesity are having issues with erectile dysfunction. Weill Cornell Medical Center recently performed a study on more than 400 men where three-quarters of them were considered overweight. Compared to the rest who weren’t overweight, the heavier group was having difficulties with their sexual health.

This study is the first time scientists have found that obesity is affecting more than just metabolisms and heart problems. “The findings demonstrate that obesity in men, part of a growing global epidemic, affects their well-being in profound ways. We have to think of the body in a much more holistic way. What we eat can have devastating consequences on more than just our hearts. Quality of life issues, such as sexual and voiding (urinary) health, can be affected as well in drastic ways,” says study author Dr. Steven Kaplan.

Kaplan estimates that the reason obesity could be a cause to sexual health issues is that when hormones are altering levels, vascular blood flow changes paths and heads toward the pelvis. The study, however, did not come across this new issue on purpose. Its primary purpose was to see if lower urinary tract symptoms are connected to obesity, symptoms such as urinating often and incontinence. The study did show that of the more than 400 participants, 44% of the three-quarters who were overweight had more problems sleeping at night because they were waking up at least twice a night to urinate.

The examined group were between 41-90 years of age. About one-third of them had a waist circumference less than 36 inches, another third was between 36-40, and the rest were greater than 40 inches. The study showed that

  • Of those with a waist size less than 36 inches, 15% urinated twice a night, 32% had erectile dysfunction, and 21% had ejaculation problems.
  • Of those with waists between 36-40 inches, 29% were urinating twice a night, 50% had erectile dysfunction, and 40% had ejaculation problems.
  • Of the last group who had 40 inches or more, 44% urinated twice a night, 74.5% had erectile dysfunction, and 65% had ejaculation problems.

Kaplan says these findings make the necessity of men maintaining healthy weights even more critical for their overall health and well-being.

The study ultimately showed that with a loss of 2.5 inches off the circumference of the waist men can begin to improve their sexual health as well as urinary tract symptoms.

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Source: British Journal of Urology International and