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By Peter Zavitsanos and Levani Odikadze

There are countless weight loss strategies being used by millions every day.  Advertising campaigns seek women as their primary targets because of the reduced cultural acceptability for obese females.  Our society has always been more accepting of obese men over obese women and statistics continue to show the increasing numbers of overweight males.

Photo Credit: puuikibeach on Flickr

Although we know obesity is one of the major risk factors for prostate cancer, there has not been a focus on prostate cancer rates associated with weight change.  A linkage between weight change and prostate cancer prevalence was successfully executed by Bassett et al., (2011).  Interestingly enough, their study of 17,045 men showed a positive association between adult weight gain and prostate cancer mortality as well as the aggressiveness of the disease.

As public health professionals we must address this issue by decreasing the current disparities with regard to healthy weight promotion and maintenance.  Not only should we focus on genders, but also on obese and non-obese individuals.  By targeting different weight classifications, we can try to decrease the amount of weight change, therefore decreasing the detrimental affects from prostate cancer.  Fortunately there is a  plethora of data showing the success of weight loss programs targeted toward women to use as a model for potential male specific interventions.  However further research is needed to examine marketing strategies and success rates.


Bassett, J., Severi, G., Baglietto, L., Macinnis, R., Hoang, H., Hopper, J., English, D., & Giles, G. (2011). Weight change and prostate cancer incidence and mortality . International Journal of Cancer, doi: 10.1002/ijc.27414



About the Guest Authors:

Pete Zavitsanos, Director of Internal Resources, MHI Philadelphia, graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health in December 2011.  Peter is currently a data analyst for Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care and is also in the Master’s program at Temple University to receive his MPH with a focus in Epidemiology and Biostatistics.  His hobbies include cars, music, traveling, cycling, and golf.  His health care related interests include non-communicable diseases, mental health, men’s health, and environmental health.

Levani Odikadze MPH(c), Director of Campus Outreach, MHI Philadelphia, is a graduate teaching assistant at Temple University Department of Public Health. He is working on his graduate degree in public health with a concentration in epidemiology and biostatistics. Levani is the Vice-President of the Eastern European Student Association at Temple and an active member of several professional organizations. He currently works in the developmental disabilities field and has extensive volunteer experience in Eastern European hospitals. Levani is a co-author of the MHI’s “Go On, Touch Yourself!” health education and awareness campaign. His interests include men’s health, mental disorders, cancer epidemiology, international health and health policy.

Learn more about them and MHI Philadelphia at http://www.menshealthinfo.org/who-we-are.html