People who are obese have poorer senses of smell. The reasons are complex. Hormonal changes created by obesity can lessen the sense of smell. Or, a poor sense of smell can lead to obesity. Either way, scientists’ say that learning more about the sense of smell may help them better understand obesity.
Obese people also sleep less well. They might fall asleep at work or while driving. Experts thought it might be due to sleep apnea – when a person stops breathing repeatedly while sleeping. Masks that force air up the nose to improve breathing are used to treat sleep apnea. Doctors now think that encouraging people to lose weight may make them sleep better.
Obesity also seems to affect fertility. In one study, obese teenage males had half the testosterone levels of lean ones. One doctor said, “Obesity could be a cause of sexual dysfunction and infertility.”
Finally, a study linked obesity to increased risk of cancer. It said fatty tissue itself might cause the growth of tumors.
Work on obesity is going on in many places. All signs are that losing weight may be one of the healthiest things a body can do.