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The Obesity Epidemic and Sexual Health 

The Obesity Epidemic and Sexual Health
Chapter:
The Obesity Epidemic and Sexual Health
Author(s):

Steven Lamm

, and Jonathan Bekisz

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190225889.003.0012
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date: 06 May 2021

There are few conditions that have such wide-ranging effects on sexual function as obesity. Though many of the exact mechanisms are yet to be elucidated, its impacts on the cardiovascular, endocrine, and nervous systems, among others, bestow upon obesity an almost unrivaled ability to devastate the human sexual response. Further, the effects of obesity extend beyond the purely physiologic into the psychologic and have the ability to impair both males and females alike. The downstream sequelae of sexual dysfunction secondary to obesity can significantly impair an individual’s quality of life, affecting his or her self-esteem, opportunity to form and maintain meaningful relationships, and ability to reproduce if desired, all of which can further promote pro-obesogenic attitudes and behaviors. Thus there is tremendous incentive for appreciation and understanding of the complex interplay between obesity and sexual function, as well as their relation to an individual’s overall physical and mental health.

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