Weighty men lose muscle and bone

big belly of a fat manAs men get fatter their bones and muscles get weaker, a Deakin University study has found. A research team with Deakin’s School of Medicine measured the BMI (body mass index), fat, muscle and bone density of 1329 men aged 25-96 in the Geelong region during 2001-06 and of 900 men of similar ages five years later. They found that a 1.2 per cent increase in BMI was driven by a 9 per cent increase in body fat and that muscle mass had dropped by 0.9 per cent and bone mass by 1.6 per cent.

“Obesity in men is clearly on the rise,” said Professor Julie Pasco, lead investigator of the study. “But an even more alarming finding is that while body fat has increased, muscles and bones have deteriorated. “Obesity is bad enough as it increases the risk for diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However we are now seeing that the musculoskeletal system (bones and muscle) could be affected too.”

While the changes in muscle and bone mass found in the study are relatively small compared to the increase in body fat, they foretell serious problems for the future as the population ages. “During ageing, bone loss leads to osteoporosis and muscle loss leads to a condition known as sarcopenia which makes people physically weak, less mobile and more dependent,” Professor Pasco said. Via Weighty men lose muscle, bone

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