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Should Middle Aged Men Have A Paunch?

Discussion in 'Discussing Dietary Models' started by ecstatichamster, Aug 13, 2017.

  1. ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    The more I notice this, the more universal it seems that middle-age men have a punch.

    Now I am living in the Western world in the United States. But I've traveled a lot around the world and I've noticed this amongst middle-class men everywhere in the world.

    Not all men have a paunch but most seem to.

    and there are some good studies that may indicate a bit of body mass index higher than the supposedly normal is actually healthy.

    Being fat in middle age protects against dementia and AD

    My dad lived to be a very old age and part of his longevity was due to being a bit overweight which helped him at the end to live longer with cachexia than he otherwise would have lived.

    Ray said on a radio show that 28 bmi might be most desirable. For a man this would be fat. I'm not sure he had men in mind, as he didn't say. But assuming this was a general statement, I think I am getting it.

    I don't like having a paunch myself, but not sure that it's unhealthy. And my observations of men who have lost weight is that they have simultaneously lost health.
     
  2. jyb

    jyb Member

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    I tend to associate men in old age who are healthier or live longer with thinness and a head full of (grey) hair. It is possible that if they had more weight they would be even healthier, but that's the association I see. But in this part of the world people (even lower class) are much thinner than in many places of the US.
     
  3. michael94

    michael94 Member

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    Toxins are stored in fat ( not to mention pufa ) ... losing weight is so stressful because most of the time you are basically poisoning yourself. Popular diet supplements/drugs are actually built around helping you manage the detox. There is also generally bacterial/fungal die-off which has to be accounted for. So yes I can see how having the toxins locked away is protective definitely makes sense to me.
     
  4. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    BMI is dicey since you can have two people with the exact same BMI, yet one can be muscular and lean and the other chubby with little muscle mass. I think it was Stephen Guyenet that looked into some of these studies showing a heavier BMI may be beneficial. He found that the results were getting skewed because people with a higher BMI would lose weight (either intentionally, or through illness) and they would get classified as being leaner in these studies that weren't going far enough back into their history. The leaner BMI throughout life turned out to be beneficial.

    I think the paunch later in life is probably in part due to loss of lean body mass without an adjustment in food intake, which will of course lead to more fat gain. All of that probably comes down to hormones. In a case of illness, having reserves is probably a good thing, but I'd rather have extra muscle as opposed to extra fat.
     
  5. OP
    ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    I never found this convincing. I guess I didn't really understand it. Seems the evidence is somewhat compelling that higher BMIs, to a point, lead to longer lives.

    Well, I'm just not sure of any of this. Perhaps.
     
  6. OP
    ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    Fat maintenance is a predictor of the murine lifespan response to dietary restriction

    This is a difficult study to parse but quite interesting. They gave all rats an ad libitum diet for awhile, but then switched some to a 60% of ad libitum, which is quite the reduction.

    This doesn't correspond exactly to the question I posed, but it contributes a lot.

    This study would correspond I suppose to someone who eats what they want and later in life, cuts back and loses weight through a calorie-restricted diet (keep in mind the horrible PUFA-laden "chow" that these rats eat, but most people eat a lot of PUFAs too...)

    Here is the important part, bolding mine:

    Our results indicate that reduction in total fat stores correlates inversely with life extension by DR: strains with the least reduction in fat were significantly more likely to show life extension. Strikingly, none of the strains showing lifespan extension exhibited a significant reduction in adiposity. Absolute fat mass under DR, which was uncorrelated with absolute fat mass under AL feeding, was also positively correlated with DR lifespan. Both ways of examining the data suggest that the maintenance, not reduction, of adiposity under DR or factors associated therewith are important to DR’s life-extending effect.
     
  7. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    Here's the link to Stephen Guyenet's take on BMI. It would be better to read his words directly and form your own opinion, if you haven't already.

    Whole Health Source: Two huge new studies further undermine the "obesity paradox"

    As for my opinion that loss of lean body mass causes some weight gain, we know that many people start losing lean body mass by their 30's. It stands to reason that if they maintain the same amount of calories throughout most of their lives while losing 10-15 pounds of lean body mass over the decades, that their body fat percentage will rise. Keeping a good hormonal profile should help with maintaining (or even gaining) lean mass, along with a bit of resistance training. I know Haidut's posted some studies about the benefits of senior citizens adding muscle through various means. A poor hormonal profile could directly contribute to waist fat as well. Falling testosterone, high cortisol, etc.
     
  8. Peater Piper

    Peater Piper Member

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    I left out a link of Stephen's that explains more:

    Whole Health Source: Is the "Obesity Paradox" an Illusion?
    "Using the maximum weight method, Stokes confirmed his previous finding that people who remain lean throughout life have the lowest risk of dying."

    I haven't looked at the Stokes paper directly, but I will.

    Your link is interesting. The question is, who would fair better, the man with 20% body fat throughout life, the man with 10% body fat throughout life, or the man with 20% body fat that loses 10% at a later age? My take is that often, someone with a BMI of, let's say 25 at the age of 20, who maintains a BMI of 25 at the age of 60, will l have actually added quite a bit of bodyf at in that time, but loss of muscle results in the BMI remaining the same. It ends up being quite different from simply maintaining fat mass, so BMI isn't giving us the whole story. It would be nice to have some long term studies that take into account lean and adipose mass instead of just BMI, but I don't know if any exist.
     
  9. OP
    ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    Makes sense. Thank you.
     
  10. BenjaminBullock

    BenjaminBullock Member

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    When you see a man with paunch and then look to see if they have a backside or not, if the muscles have atrophied then the paunch is from inflamed organs. Usually the two go hand in hand. Apparently one of the causes is the inflammation hampers blood supply to the glute and hamstring muscles and they atrophy as a result.

    its been found that the fat around the naval/spare tyre is from elevated cortisol.

    Google image liver + stomach fat, the paunch can be seen from possible liver issues.
     
  11. OP
    ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    I came across this study:
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/academia.e...e=Body_mass_index_and_all-cause_mortality.pdf

    When analyzed via Cox proportional hazard regression, the relationship between BMI and mortality, represented by means of hazard ratio, was clearly U-shaped for both men and women. The base of the curves was fairly wide suggesting that a broad range of BMIs are well tolerated by older adults. The minimum mortality (estimated from the fitted proportional hazard models) occurred at a BMI of approximately 31.7 for women and 28.8 for men. The results were essentially unchanged, if analyses were weighted, if various disease states were controlled for, and if apparently unhealthy subjects were excluded.

    CONCLUSIONS: The finding of the relatively high BMI (27±30 for men, 30±35 for women) associated with minimum hazard in persons older than seventy years supports some previously documented findings and opposes others and, if confirmed in future research, has implications for public health and clinical recommendations.

    ---

    Peat is right again. This is almost precisely what he said in the KMUD interview.
     
  12. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    :rightagain2
     
  13. lisaferraro

    lisaferraro Member

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    I have actually read this sort of conclusion several times. Wish I would have saved the sources. Oh well.

    Anyway, it makes logical sense.
     
  14. kayumochi

    kayumochi Member

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    I lived in Japan for 15 years and while there are certainly middle-aged men with a paunch you also see many men that age (and much older) who have another problem: very, very little body fat with no visible musculature - literally skin and bones. Have wondered how this is related to insulin ...
     
  15. TheDrumGuy

    TheDrumGuy Member

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    In the developed world maybe, but look at the old people in any primitive tribe and they're almost as lean as the young people.
     
  16. Colin Nordstrom

    Colin Nordstrom Member

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    How many men with a paunch have a high quality of life? I would feel like sh## with a BMI of 28. If you eat right, exercise, sleep, stop smoking/drinking, and connect with a partner, you're not going to have a paunch. But if you can't eliminate stress, eat tons of starch and PUFAs, and lay on a couch drinking OJ and milk without exercising, you're constantly going to be positively justifying your "protective" paunch.
     
  17. dbh25

    dbh25 Member

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    Where are you traveling to? Going to France or Italy, I saw some overweight people at retirement age. Some middle age men were what we used to call "husky". But a minority. Eastern European countries I went to seemed to have less.
    Have you read this,
    Whole Health Source: Two huge new studies further undermine the "obesity paradox"
     
  18. DavePalumbo

    DavePalumbo Member

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    Paunches are androgenic. Men store fat in the belly area in order to make running more efficient - that's the explanation given. Women store it in their thigh and breast area because they are made for childbearing. This is just one of the hundreds of physiological differences between men and women.

    Bizarrely I cannot gain much stomach fat no matter how fat I become. The fat sits on my arms, my thighs, my ass and my chest. Since I reached the age of 13 (about 10 years ago) I have stored my body fat mainly in my breast area, and this is regardless of how thin I become. It's not gyno, I have no breast tissue. Is it hormonal somehow? I crashed my estrogen for weeks and it did nothing to restore a male body fat distribution.
     
  19. daisyjane

    daisyjane Member

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    Personally I'm a fan of the 'dad bod'.
     
  20. OP
    ecstatichamster

    ecstatichamster Member

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    LOL!!!!

    thank you.
     
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