52.7% of the population aged 18 and over are above their obesity a problem that is more pronounced among men (60.7%) than among women (44.7%), according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). In addition, according to a study by scientists at Imperial College London in the last four decades, the number of obese men has tripled, while the number of obese women has only doubled. However, while female obesity is constantly judged and feared, the male is still viewed as a “lesser evil” that enjoys even greater social acceptance.
Differences in the dietary pattern
According to the IMEO, the dietary patterns of men and women are significantly different and are conditioned, in addition to genetics, by social, cultural, economic, and religious and gender factors. Inequalities emerge during adolescence which is the moment when they begin to be aware of the current beauty standards for which the ideal weight is much lower for women than men. As a result, women in general are more concerned about healthy eating , which is usually translated into the habit of making five meals a day of smaller volume, while they usually only make 3 main meals, but more copious.
When comparing the shopping basket of each other, we will see that in general men tend to opt for meats, rice, pasta, bread or alcohol. In return, women prefer fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, and eggs and reduced calorie or fat products, as well as for weight management. In addition, they are more likely to choose fresh products, while they often opt for ultra-processed foods such as ‘fast food’, snacks, ready-to-heat dishes and rebuilt animal products. This is because there are still many more women who know and like to cook with respect to men.
As for nutritional needs, the basic rule states that we should consume 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of weight and day. Thus, because men tend to have a higher weight, their intake of protein foods, such as meat, must be higher than that of women. However, in both cases you must carry a food in which vegetables prevail. Finally, men have a higher basal metabolic rate, which means that at equal or even higher physical exercise practice; they have a higher energy intake than females.
Tips to avoid obesity
The nutritional pattern to avoid male obesity at this stage must always be supervised by a nutritionist. At a general level, IMEO nutrition experts recommend:
- Increase plant-based foods and soluble fiber (fruits, vegetables, legumes, and oats) that help lower cholesterol.
- Ensure the contribution of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, magnesium, in order to improve bone health. Increase consumption of non-whole dairy products, blue fish, green leafy vegetables or fortified foods.
- Do not forget protein foods. Better vegetable protein (legumes, cereals, nuts). Meats that are lean, fat free.
- Reduce or moderate the consumption of fatty foods, especially saturated fats (because of their impact on cardiovascular risk) and increase the consumption of polyunsaturated fats, such as omega 3, which play an important role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. We find them mainly in blue fish, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, etc.
- And very important! Physical exercise reduces muscle loss, increases caloric expenditure and strengthens bones, while improving cardiovascular health. Regular practice helps prevent illness and enhances emotional well-being.