Expanding waistlines of the 'Jim Royle generation'
New research reveals men piled on more than a stone
between 1986 and 2000.
The average man in the year 2000 was a belt
busting 7.7kg heavier than he was in 1986, new research
There were two reasons for the male weight gain, conclude the researchers. This 'Jim
Royle generation' ate more calories than men in 1986, and they also
did less exercise.
BHF-funded scientists from Oxford
University ran a detailed project to analyse changes in
food consumption and body weight over the 15-year period.
They found the average man in 2000 ate enough extra food to make
him 4.7kg heavier than his forebear, in theory.
But the actual difference of 7.7kg was too much to blame on
diet alone, says the research, and must also be down to a less
This research suggests a ticking time bomb for male health.
Oxford’s Dr Peter
Scarborough, who led the research, said:
“There could be a number of reasons for the reduction in
exercise. One partial explanation could be that men spend more of
their working lives sitting at desks now – manual careers are less
common than they used to be.
“We looked at how much food was available over time, accounting
for food that’s wasted or thrown away. It’s clear people are eating
more, and today we’re seeing a continued increase in the amount of
Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said:
“Obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, heart disease and
stroke and contributes to premature death and poor quality of life.
The number of obese men is not going down.
“This research suggests a ticking time bomb for male health, and
underlines the importance of both regular exercise and a balanced
diet in keeping your weight down and your heart healthy."
The research was published in the British
Journal of Nutrition.
25 per cent of men in England were classed as obese in 2008, the
most recent data available, compared with only around 7 per cent in