A survey suggests that 37 per cent of East Midlands men are unable to see their own genitals because they are so obese.
Spinkhealth, a preventative healthcare website, claim the figures highlight that over five million men in Britain may be dangerously overweight and, as a consequence, are risking a reduction of up to nine years from their lifespan.
They are also increasing their chances of developing life-threatening illnesses such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
The website asked men one question as part of their ‘BIG Check’ campaign: “Can you see your genitals?”, in the hope of raising awareness of the risks associated with obesity in men and highlighting just how far their problem may have got.
Dr Johan du Plessis, an A&E specialist said: “This new research is really worrying and men must be encouraged to wake up to the potential life threatening risks of being overweight and to make this vital check.
“An obese man who can’t see his penis is five times more likely to develop type two diabetes, three times more likely to develop cancer of the colon and more than two-and-a-half times more likely to develop high blood pressure.”
However, Michelle Aveyard, of the Man Alive health improvement programme , which is supported by NHS Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire Sport, said such surveys are not necessarily helpful to obese men as they are well aware off their weight and possible room for improvement for healthier choices.
She said: “I think it leaves you open to all sorts of body image issues, which are different from actual health issues that need to be addressed, and can they can contribute to no action being taken.
“But the reality is being overweight in both males and females is a contributing factor to increased poor health.“
Mrs Aveyard said addressing your own health and well-being needs to be part of everybody’s lifestyle.
She said: “We inform people we can’t undo lifestyle choices from the past, but do have services to support and inform individuals when they are ready to take a step forward into making a healthier choice.
“We would rather work with people in a way they feel comfortable and supported.“
Both men and women aged from 40 to 70 years can make an appointment with their GP for an NHS health check as a good starting point to making lifestyle choices for the better.
The new Man Alive programme will restart across Northamptonshire next month. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Northamptonshire Sport also has a huge variety of tasters for getting active on its website.