Why are Women the Fatter Sex?

Last Editorial Review: 7/25/2002

While it is obviously not true in all cases, women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men.

There are many reasons why women have more body fat than men. One is biological. Body fat content is 25% for women at normal size compared to 15% for men. All other things being equal, such as age and exercise levels, women require fewer calories per pound of body weight daily than do men. Female hormones make it easier to convert fat into food. Women more often do the cooking in the households. Finally, in fat-prone women, birth control pills cause the body to produce increased amounts of fat and water. Estrogen alone will cause increased deposition of fat. Anyone on the pill needs to decrease caloric intake by at least 10% in order to maintain the same weight.

After 40, the key to weight loss is fat calorie control and increased exercise.

Weight loss in the 50's and 60's is slow. However, when needed, it so markedly improves overall health status as well as the way a person feels and looks that it is well worth the effort.

According to the former president of the American Society of Bariatric Physicians, the late Robert Stark, M.D., exercise is the key. In terms of overall health for persons that are obese, every 10 pounds of weight reduction causes them to be a year younger!

For more information, please visit the MedicineNet.com Obesity Center.

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