Obesity and Sexual Functioning
Purpose of the Review
Sexual functioning is an important, yet often overlooked, aspect of quality of life for many individuals with obesity.
With the growing recognition of obesity as a significant, international public health issue, a developing body of research has investigated the relationship between obesity and sexual functioning. Several studies have found that obesity is associated with impairments in sexual functioning. The mechanisms of this relationship, whether physiological, psychosocial, or a combination of the two, are yet to be fully elucidated. Other studies have suggested that weight loss, whether induced by bariatric surgery or less intensive interventions, is associated with significant and clinically meaningful change in sexual functioning and relevant reproductive hormones.
This chapter reviews the research in these areas and provides recommendations for future research on these relationships.
KeywordsSexual dysfunction Obesity Bariatric surgery Body image
The Section Editors wish to thank Drs. Valentina Ivezaj (Yale University) and David Rowland (Valparaiso University) for their gracious assistance in reviewing this article.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
David B. Sarwer has received research support through grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (grant no. R01-DK108628-01) and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and has also received compensation from BAROnova and Novo Nordisk for service as a consultant.
Alexis J. Hanson declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Jessica Voeller declares that she has no conflict of interest.
Kristine Steffen has received research support through grants from the NIH, Shire, and Profile by Sanford; however, none of these grants relate to or have funded any aspect of this article.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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