Body fat is one of the most common and overlooked health problems in the United States, yet many are unaware that the condition is under-recognized and under-treated.
According to a 2015 study, only 3.9 percent of women and 1.7 percent of men in the U.S. had lost at least 10 percent of body weight over the previous year.
And the vast majority of these individuals are women.
“What we have seen is a lack of education about body fat and how to effectively lose it,” said Karthik Kulkarni, the director of the Center for Health Equity and Human Development at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
“Body fat is not a problem for men.
It’s a problem when it comes to women.”
Kulkerni, a former clinical assistant professor of psychiatry at the Baylor College of Medicine, began studying the causes of body fat in 2012, and he is currently a doctoral student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He began with a small, one-person study of men who lost 10 percent or more of body mass in the past year.
The men were then followed up a year later, with a follow-up study of the women who lost less than 10 percent.
Kulkerti’s goal was to identify the factors that are associated with body fat accumulation and to develop strategies to reduce the prevalence of the condition.
Krakarni and his team have now conducted more than 1,500 follow-ups of more than 100,000 men and women, and their findings reveal some of the factors associated with greater body fat gain among women.
Among the key findings: Body fat loss occurs in both sexes, but the women with the greatest body fat losses were those who lost the most during the previous six months, while the men were more likely to be able to maintain their weight loss.
The researchers also found that the women and men who gained the most body fat over the last six months tended to have a greater degree of education on how to lose body fat.
These findings are consistent with previous research, which has found that women who have had less education about fat loss are more likely than men to be obese.
“Our research supports what the literature says, which is that women are more than twice as likely as men to gain body fat as the body fat percentage increases,” Kulkorti said.
The reason for this is simple: women tend to be in a state of energy depletion during the weight loss process.
Women tend to lose more body fat than men do.
“As they lose weight, their fat mass goes down,” Krakerni said, and this is particularly true for the fat of the arms, legs, chest, stomach and abdomen.
These areas tend to hold onto the excess body fat to keep it from breaking down.
In other words, the fat will be retained in the area of the body that is most vulnerable to breakage.
This is a very important distinction to make.
For women, their bodies have more fat in the fat area than men.
This allows them to maintain a larger fat mass, which allows them greater energy storage and prevents fat from being broken down.
Men, on the other hand, tend to have more muscle mass, meaning they have less fat mass to hold on to.
This leads to a larger and larger mass of fat, which leads to greater muscle mass and greater weight loss, and it can also result in higher rates of heart disease.
This relationship between body fat composition and body weight is known as the ‘bias in body fat.’
The researchers noted that women tended to be less physically active, have lower self-reported activity levels, and were more prone to having a lower body mass index (BMI) than men because of this bias in fat.
They also found higher rates and levels of depression, anxiety, and depression symptoms among women who had gained the least body fat during the past six months.
According the researchers, this is an important finding that should inform men and others who want to lose weight.
Women who gain the most and lose the most weight are those who have the most experience with weight loss and the most knowledge about how to reduce their weight and improve their health, Kulkarti said in a press release.
“We hope this study will lead to the discovery of new and effective ways to help women and girls in particular lose weight and keep their fat loss progress going,” Krikarni said of the findings.
“This research has shown that the most effective and effective strategies for fat loss among women are not always the same for men.”
To learn more about Krakerti and the research he conducted, please visit www.fatlosscare.org.
For more information about the Center, please contact Karen Stoddart at [email protected] or (512) 822-7725.