You may cheat yourself into believing that you have not put on weight despite the flabs in your stomach, but you cannot cheat your sperms whose concentration and count automatically decrease as you become overweight/obese. Obesity is a worldwide problem that’s been the root cause for various diseases such as heart attack, diabetes, cholesterol and other impending disorders. Reproduction is the basis for continuity of life. Overweight/obesity impacts fertilization hindering the continuity of human existence greatly.
Life Begets Life
Its been more than a decade since we’ve known that maternal obesity hinders embryo development. We’ve also been witnessing increasing number of couples seeking the help of artificial reproductive technologies (ART) for conceiving babies. As a society, we have started accepting that its not only the female but also the male who can be responsible for infertility issues. There is an increasing awareness that male obesity reduces sperm quality and quantity, dad’s health cues are passed over to the offspring and also theories that dad’s obesity makes the offspring susceptible to developing obesity. All the while the society has been advising women in childbearing age to take care of their health as they are the ones who would be producing offspring. Sadly, the husbands are sidelined and almost ignored. Recent studies and evidences are increasingly probing on the health nature of the dad whose conditions might affect offspring conception and development.
A new study shows that widening waistlines might narrow production of sperms decreasing sperm numbers. A study by Indian scientists on 1,200 men found that increase in weight was associated with a decrease in sperm volume, sperm count and concentration. Among the participants the researchers found that obese men had lower sperm numbers, decreased concentration and inability of the sperms to move at normal speed towards eggs compared to normal-weighted individuals. Also, these sperms were sometimes defective possessing thin/pear-shaped heads all of which together complicated pregnancy chances be it through natural conception or IVF. It even affects the ability of the sperm to move towards the female reproductive tract lowering chances of conception. We already know that obese women can delay conception and now it’s proved that obese men too can delay the process of conception. Men in Western countries are already trending towards decreased sperm health which has become a worrisome news for many. Such stark decline in sperm numbers and count can greatly affect reproduction. Along with growing obesity rates are declining sperm quality rates. Although this study does not specifically deal with infertility it does indicate a future that would trend towards it and this is extremely disturbing.
Another study by a group of researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that overweight men were 11% likelier to have a low sperm count and 39% likelier to have no sperms in their ejaculation. Obese men were 42% likelier to have a low sperm count and 81% likelier to produce no sperms compared to their normal-weighted counterparts. There are also emerging observations and research that food habits of parents can be passed over to the offspring. So, everything again boils down to the point that health and normal body weight affect our quality of life to a great extent. Nutrition-induced changes to sperms affects both the fertility chances of the dad and the health of the next generation. Eating nutritious foods, staying active and exercising daily is recommended not simply because it is the norm but also because it helps you lead a smoother life and improve your quality of living. If you are facing obesity issues and skipping to conceive, it is better to get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com who can help you lose weight, conceive and produce a healthy offspring. We have ruined our health to a great extend by indulging in junk foods and irregular meal timings. At least, lets try to save our future generation’s health to some extent by reviving our healthy eating habits.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.