Are There Gender Differences in Life Expectancy?

In the United States, the average age of death in males is slightly over 73 years old and the average age of females at death is slightly over 80.  Other countries show slight variations of this difference in age at death with Russia showing an over 12 years difference.

The reasons include hormonal differences with estrogens having a favorable effect on “good vs. bad” cholesterol levels, higher smoking rates in males, higher “risk” taking resulting in accidental deaths and others.

Let’s focus on weight control:  In the SP Program we have about an 85%-15% split in entries between females and males.  Is it the case that there are that many more females with weight control issues than males?  Nope.   Actually, the statistics show that in every singles state in America, there are more men with obesity than women.  

So, the follow-up question:  If men die earlier than women and have a higher obesity rate, why do women much more frequently seek help with weight control than men?  The answers to this question are multifactorial.  I do know that when I query a new patient as to why it is so important for him/her to control weight, women will admit to aesthetic reasons frequently whereas men will focus almost solely on being healthier.   Every “weight loss” program or product will admit that their target audience for marketing/advertising are women between the ages of 30-60.

Heart disease remains the big “killer” of people and males most certainly have a higher heart disease rate than females.  Overweight/obese men can substantially reduce their risks for heart disease by shedding weight, yet, as detailed above, most men do not seek help with their weight control.

For those women out there with overweight/obese spouses, sons, brothers, male friends:  I know it is not easy to broach their poor weight control with them for fear of hurting their feelings.  However, prodding them to become pro-active in their weight control efforts could result in you not being at the card table in Florida with many other widowed women.  Men need to take their poor weight control much more seriously.  Their lives may depend on it.

Author
Dr. Robert Posner One of the world’s leading medical weight loss researchers, Robert Posner, MD, operates his state-of-the-art weight loss clinic, Serotonin Plus, in the heart of Burke, Virginia, in the suburban Washington area.

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