In China, a teenage boy grew an A-cup size breast as a disturbing result of eating too much fast food. He started noticing the growth six years ago. The 19-year-old patient first started noticing that his right breast was getting bigger than his left breast when he was just 13 years old. Meanwhile, his left breast appeared normal and did not show any signs of swelling.
Doctors at Wenzhou Central Hospital believe that the boy has a what is called gynecomastia, also called manboob syndrome, or moobs syndrome, which is the abnormal growth of woman-like breasts in men. Chief of Medicine Pan Zhongliang said the condition is likely caused by eating too much fast food, which may have “gender-bending” chemicals in them.
In an interview with Qianjiang Evening Post, Dr. Zhongliang said this abnormality in the boy was probably caused by hormonal imbalance brought on by too much junkfood intake. He said an ultrasonography showed a growth in the mammary gland of his right breast.
“The right side of the patient’s body resembles a woman, while the left a man,” Dr. Pan said.
Gynecomastia usually occurs in newborns, boys undergoing puberty, and older men who acquire it due to hormonal changes. Gynecomastia usually goes away on its own, but in the teenager’s case, doctors decided that surgery was the best option. (Related: UK surgeries to remove “man boobs” up 400% as gender bender chemicals grow breasts on biological men.)
The teenager underwent mastectomy in early July at Wenzhou Central Hospital and was discharged five days later. The boy, who was given the pseudonym Xiao Yang, lives in the Cagnan county of Zhejiang Province, local media reported.
Dr. Pan said men should avoid eating too much fried chicken, royal jelly, and soy milk. Research shows that a high-fat, high-carbohydrate diet which include french fries, fried chicken, and milkshakes can result in body inflammation, which can raise estrogen levels and breast tenderness.
Aside from a high-carb, high-fat diet, medications can also affect breast tissue growth in men. According to a study that was published in the journal American Family Physician, 25 percent of gynecomastia cases are a result of constant intake of medication such as anabolic steroids, antidepressants, antipsychotics, cholesterol drugs, and hair loss treatments.
Around 100 teenage patients with similar conditions are being attended to each year, Dr. Pan noted.
In America, operations to correct gynecomastia are usually priced between $3,000 and $10,000 and are not covered by insurance because they are considered as cosmetic surgeries. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of gynecomastia-related surgeries have increased by 36 percent since 2000, with Dr. Adrian Lo, a plastic surgeon who is an expert on gynecomastia in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, saying that he performs around four or five of such operations per week.
“The men I see are usually fit. But most men with gynecomastia qualify for surgery even if they’re not an ideal weight,” he said in an interview with MensHealth.com.
Lo said that these men include those who developed pubescent gynecomastia that cannot be cured naturally, like Yang. Pubescent gynecomastia normally cannot be cured naturally because some boys may not have enough free testosterone to counteract the effects of the estrogen in their body during early puberty.