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Obese men more carb intolerant than obese women

Obese men may not process carbohydrates as efficiently as obese women, a condition that can, ultimately, lead to a decrease in fitness level and the development of metabolic disorders. A new study published in the July issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), showed that severely obese men were more carbohydrate intolerant and had less physical endurance than severely obese women, leading researchers to believe that gender plays a strong role in physical fitness and a person's ability to metabolize carbohydrates.

"Carbohydrate intolerance, the inability to metabolize sugar found in carbohydrates, may lead to a buildup of fat deposits on muscle tissue, which can cause a person to gain weight and, eventually, impair physical endurance," said study co-author Emile F. L. Dubois, MD, PhD, FCCP, Department of Pulmonary Diseases, Hospital Reinier de Graaf Groep, Delft-Voorburg, Netherlands. "It appears that carbohydrate intolerance is more common in obese men, which would cause them to be less physically fit than obese women."

Researchers from Voorburg and Groningen, Netherlands, performed exercise capacity tests on 22 severely obese men and 34 severely obese women who were scheduled for bariatric surgery. Severe obesity was classified as a body mass index (BMI) of over 40, based on guidelines from the World Health Organization. Researchers also assessed patients for carbohydrate intolerance, according to American Diabetes Society Guidelines. Results showed that patients were similar in age and BMI, but 59 percent of men had overt diabetes or were carbohydrate intolerant, as compared to 35 percent of women. Researchers note that patients with carbohydrate intolerance usually suffer from metabolic syndrome, a group of medical conditions, including obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, that can lead to cardiovascular disease. However, an obese person who is carbohydrate intolerant may not present wi
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Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
jstawarz@chestnet.org
847-498-8306
American College of Chest Physicians
11-Jul-2005


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