Duke University psychologist Martin Binks presented the findings at the annual meeting of The North American Association for the Study of Obesity (NAASO) in Vancouver. He says even a weight loss of just ten percent improved the "quality of sex life" for most people.
In their study, Binks and his colleagues examined sexual quality of life data from a weight-loss trial. The trial included 161 obese women and 26 obese men. Data was collected every three months over two years. To measure sexual quality of life, the researchers used items from a standard questionnaire called the Impact of Weight on Quality of Life.
Among the factors covered by the survey: feeling sexually unattractive, lack of sexual desire, reluctance to be seen undressed, difficulty with sexual performance, avoidance of sexual encounters, and lack of enjoyment of sexual activity, Health Day News reports.
Obese participants lost about 13% of their body weight over two years, according to China View.
The sex lives of both men and women improved substantially as the pounds melted away.
Sixty-seven percent of the women said they felt sexually unattractive at the start of the study. "That prevalence dropped to 26.4 percent at one year and remained stable," Binks said. "Not wanting to be seen undressed went from 62.7 percent to 34.3 percent," he added. There were similar reductions in the other areas, Binks said.
"A 10 percent reduction in weight significantly improves most health issues," Binks concluded. "It appears that sexual quality of life improves in a similar way to (other) weight-related issues."
The researchers said they found similar results in a survey of 26 obese men, but cautioned that the small number of male participants made it difficult to draw conclusions from that data. A.M.