A health website has launched a campaign, "The Big Check," a new test of obesity for men: take off your clothes, stand upright naked and look down at your penis. If you can't see it, then you are obese and at risk of losing up to nine years of lifespan.
The "Big Check" campaign was launched after the British website We Love Our Health.co.uk, commissioned a survey of 1,000 men that found that because of the size of their bellies, "33 percent of men in Britain aged between 35 and 60 years are unable to see their penis" when they stand upright and look downwards.
The figures produced by the survey also suggested that more than 5.6 million British men are at risk of losing up to nine years of lifespan through strokes, diabetes and heart disease because of obesity.
According to the The London Evening Standard, the survey, carried out in all regions of the UK, found that the West Midlands had the highest percentage of men who could not see their penis because of their bulbous bellies. The South East had the lowest percentage.
We Love Our Health has warned that belly fat can shorten human lifespan. A statement by the group, said: "If your stomach is starting to obstruct the view of your manhood you shouldn't ignore it. Not only can it knock years off your lifespan but it could also put you at serious risk from life threatening illness."
The Daily Mail reports that campaign member, Dr Sarah Brewer, said, "Men care more about maintaining their cars than their own bodies, and often only see the doctor if told to by a female partner or relative."
Dr.Brewer urged men to adopt a healthier lifestyle
The London Evening Standard reports that the website's online doctor, and A&E specialist, Dr Johan du Plessis, said: “This new research is really worrying and men must be encouraged to wake up to the potential life-threatening risks of being overweight and to make this vital check.
“An obese man who cannot see his penis is five times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, three times more likely to develop cancer of the colon and more than two and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure - a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.”
A major aim of the campaign is to focus attention on the much neglected significance of waist measurement, rather than Body Mass Index (BMI), for determining the risk of developing health complications related to obesity, such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease."
Doctors are recommending waist measurement as an indicator of health rather the traditional body mass index measurement (BMI).
The Daily Mail reports that a medical practitioner, Dr Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, said: "Our research shows that if a person has a normal BMI, this by itself should not reassure them that their risk for heart disease is low. Where their fat is distributed on their body can mean a lot."
The Sun reports that A&E specialist, Dr Johan du Plessis, said men tend more than women to ignore health issues. He said men who have a waist size over 37 inches and women with a waist size above 31.5 inches are at health risk.
The campaign seeks to encourage men to make a simple lifesaving health check, by asking them, "Can you see your manhood?"
The Atlantic observes that the campaign's approach to men's health is hinged on the idea that while men may ignore the health implication of belly fat, drawing attention to the risk by suggesting a "penis check" may be helpful.
The London Evening Standard reports the percentage of British men surveyed who said their belly obstructs view of their genitals:
East Anglia 36.54%
East Midlands 37.74%
North East 35.19%
North West 39.26%
Northern Ireland 34.62%
South East 22.89%
South West 23.66%
West Midlands 43.33%
Yorkshire and the Humber 38.20%