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Managing obesity in men

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With 67 per cent of men and 56 per cent of women being overweight or obese,1 the number of people with diabetes in the UK is estimated to reach over four million by 2025 (projection for UK based on estimates for England alone for 2025).

Increasing numbers of morbidly obese male patients are being referred; within the last month, two of my referrals have been for men with a body mass index (BMI) of 47 and 51. I suspect my clinical practice is not exclusive and that throughout the UK there are more patients with ever higher BMIs.

In clinical practice it is easy to feel overwhelmed by obesity. Weight loss interventions are time consuming, often unsuccessful, sometimes confrontational, and not seen as cost effective. Time constraints, lack of competency and funding issues act as barriers to effective strategies.

Which type of diet is most successful? A recent study with a two year follow-up concluded that diets which take into account personal and cultural preferences may have the best chance of long-term success.3 Diets should emphasise a range of fat, protein, and carbohydrate compositions that have beneficial effects on risk factors for CVD and diabetes.

Why men are different
In practice I have found that there is a difference between men and women, in that women are always aware that they are overweight and often by how much, whereas men are often unaware that they are overweight.

If men do realise t

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