The prevalence of overweight and obesity is similar in males and females aged 2 to 17 years but is higher in adult men (70%) than adult women (56%) (ABS 2011-2012). The proportion of men with severe and very severe obesity is increasing rapidly and obesity is now the second highest contributor to burden of disease in Australian men ahead of smoking (AIHW). The risk of obesity-associated comorbidities is higher in men who are socially disadvantaged, live in a rural or remote location, have limited functional health literacy or are migrants.
Most descriptions of the complications of obesity tend to focus on a ‘generic human’ with little attention to differences between men and women. Obesity has specific deleterious effects on sexual, reproductive and lower urinary tract function in men.
This presentation will focus on the effect of overall obesity, distribution of fat and presence of metabolic abnormalities associated with insulin resistance, and interaction with other obesity related co-morbidities, health related behaviours, occupational, and psychosocial factors on: (i) the hypothalamo-pituitary testicular axis and sex steroid physiology, sexual desire, erectile function, sperm quality and function and intergenerational transmission of chronic disease risk; (ii) lower urinary tract symptoms; (iii) diagnosis and progression of prostate cancer.
The implications for management at an individual and public health level will be discussed in the context of data relating to masculinity and health service utilisation.