Men — Increased Body Fat Can Negatively Impact You In This Way

Man leaning on wall

It’s not only women at high risk — men need to be mindful of this

There is no doubt that lifestyle and exercise play a massive role in keeping our body weight in check and eliminating diseases that seem to have overtaken most of the population. I, for one, am dumbfounded as to just how many people take risks when it comes to their health. For example, drinking and overeating, smoking or even leading a sedentary lifestyle.  These factors may not hit you during your youth — but bad habits usually begin to bite you in the backside as soon as you get to a certain age. Were all going to get old — it’s inevitable. But, that doesn’t mean we have to expose ourselves to a lifetime of health problems, doctors, hospitals and procedures. On the contrary, I would rather live my life experiencing everything at maximum capacity — not subject to the four white walls of a hospital faculty. Most people would assume that osteoporosis affects women who are pre or post-menopausal. However, you might be surprised to realise that men with higher body fat can have lower bone density, increasing the risk of breaking a bone than those with normal body fat levels. The problem with assessing body fat is studies only show positive or neutral effects of body fat mass — the weight of fat on the body, regarding bone health. As a result, health care providers often assume those with higher levels of body weight have increased bone density, therefore, are less likely to be screened for osteoporosis. Rajesh K Jain, MD of the University of Chicago Medicine, says, “We have found that higher fat mass was related to lower bone density, and these trends were more robust in men than women. The effects of body weight depend on a person’s genetic makeup of lean and fat mass. Therefore, high body weight alone does not guarantee against osteoporosis.” Ten thousand eight hundred fourteen people under 60 years old had bone mineral density and composition analysed by researchers. There was a strong positive association between lean mass and bone density in men and women. Conversely, the fat mass group had a moderately negative association with bone mineral density — especially among men. Jain recommends the following for health providers: “Health providers should screen patients with high body weight, especially if they have risk factors, such as age, previous fractures, steroid use and a family history of osteoporosis.” 

Key take away

Genetics are a bit hard to mess with when it comes to osteoporosis — but there are several ways you can lessen the blow and prevent fractures. 

First, let’s take the necessary steps to age well.

One: Weight train: We lose too much muscle as we age. Therefore, it’s essential to build and maintain muscle mass. This helps strengthen our bones, eliminate fractures, and keep our body weight and fat levels lower. Muscle also enables you to improve your balance and mobility. Two: Healthy eating: Protein has increased bone mineral density. A whole food diet rich in various foods will help keep your weight low and nourish your body for better health and longevity. Eat more veggies rich in vitamin D. Three: Stay active: going to the gym is great, but being active throughout the day is even better A sedentary lifestyle leads to disease and increases your susceptibility to accumulating body fat. You don’t have to do a lot — perhaps walk regularly, take a bike ride — whatever you enjoy doing. Four: Vitamin D: helps strengthen your bones and assists the body in absorbing calcium. Most of us cannot rely solely on sun exposure to get an adequate dose of vitamin D. If you aren’t getting enough in your diet, speak to your doctor about supplementation. You can read more about this here

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