Article Text


Obesity and sexism: fact or fiction?
  1. D Debnath *1,
  2. R K Choudhary2,
  3. S Lari2,
  4. J G Stephen2
  1. 1Surgery, Broomfield Hospital, Chelmsford, UK
  2. 2Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital, Darlington, UK


Introduction Male stoicism is often blamed for delay in seeking medical help.1–3 We aimed to address this issue by assessing correlation between sex and different factors related to obesity surgery.

Methods All eligible patients between 1986 and 2006 were included. Analyses of age (year), diabetes, ASA status, smoking, mental health state, pre- and post-operative weights (kg), duration of operation (minutes), hospital stay (days), complication rates and follow-up (months) were performed.

Results Out of a total of 48 patients, 13 were male. Mean age was comparable among males (42.2) and females (40.4) (p=0.54). Occurrence of smoking among males (n=3, 23.0% of 13) and females (n=11; 31.4% of 35) was similar (p=0.57). Incidence of diabetes was higher among males (n=5, 38.4% of 13), than females (n=4, 11.4% of 35) (p=0.01). Females had more mental health issues (n=6, 46.1% of 35), than males (n=0, 0% of 13) (p=0.043). ASA status were similar among both groups (p=0.43). Preoperative weight was more among males (154.9) than females (136.7) (p=0.019). Weight loss over a follow-up period of 52.6 months was significant (preoperative 141.67 vs postoperative 117.29) (p<0.0000001). Weight loss was more among males (21.5), than females (15.24) (p=0.01). Operative time was higher among males (190.88) than females (172.06) (p=0.06). Stay in hospital was similar among males (10.7) and females (11.2) (p=0.62). Complication rates were not significantly different among males (n=4, 30.7% of 13) and females (n=6, 17.1% of 35) (p=0.30). Compliance with follow-up was higher among males (63.69) than females (48.6) (p=0.18).

Conclusion Males enjoyed significantly more weight loss and complied better in follow-up, than females. Incidence of diabetes and mental health were higher among males and females, respectively. Age, smoking, ASA status, complication rates and stay in hospital were similar in both groups. These findings do not support the hypothesis of typical male stereotyping.

  • obesity
  • sexism
  • stoicism

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

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