The statistics of the Serotonin-Plus Program show that about 88% of new patient entries are females and 12 % males. Does this mean that there are almost 8X as many overweight/obese females than there are overweight/obese males? Well, the general population statistics show that almost 74% of males are overweight/obese and 67% of females have BMIs greater than 25. So, why is it the case that so many more females reach out for medical help in losing weight?
Generally, when it comes to health issues, although this sounds like generalization, women tend to be more “attuned” to their bodies and will be more apt to go in for wellness checks, health screenings, doctor visits etc. In family situations, it is much more common for the “mother” to keep track of/schedule doctor visits for the children than the “father”.
Here is another “generalization”: This is in line with the jokes we have all heard (before GPS existed) about males refusing to stop and ask for directions when lost. There is a sort of “male pride” issue involved with not needing or asking for help.
Focusing on weight control, from a biochemical standpoint, women have more challenges. Lower metabolism rates and carbohydrate cravings due to chemical imbalances are much more prevalent in females. From a societal/behavioral standpoint, I do believe in the existence of “instinctual” behavior patterns that will have women providing a much more “nurturing” role in the family unit.
Unlike 50 years ago when the “role” of women was more directed at home/children issues, now, more often than not, women are responsible for driving more than 50% of the family income. I do believe that this is one of the major reasons why the obesity rate has tripled in our country over the past 50 years: Women are trying to handle so many different responsibilities that they simply have no time to focus on themselves. As we all know, weight control requires lots of planning, focusing, carving out exercise time, etc.
No offense to my fellow men out there, but for whatever reasons, we do not tend to place ourselves at the lowest rung of the “priority chain of life”. Many women, on the other hand, will place everyone’s interests above theirs, especially children, close family and even their work. Unfortunately, this will often adversely impact their health, most notably the ability to control weight. I cannot tell you how many females we bring into our program that control pretty much everything else in their lives other than their weight.
So, the purpose of this entry? To hopefully have the males out there reading this to try to provide extra help to the females in your life that may need to have this support in order to re-prioritize their mission to become healthier. Also, I intended this for the females out there that can relate to the concept of having placed themselves on this lowest “priority rung” and not feel guilty spending time, energy and focus on themselves. You are more than a woman…you are the most important person in the family!
Enjoy the Bee Gees “More Than A Woman”