All of us should be concerned about harmful health effects from a sedentary lifestyle, along with drinking lots of sugary soda. However, according to a (very) small study, ten days of adopting this lifestyle seems to have more of a negative effect on healthy young men than on women, at least in the short term.
Even just 10 days of reducing physical activity (from greater than 10,000 steps to less than 5000 steps per day) and increasing soda intake (to 6 cans a day!) was enough to have a negative effect on insulin levels (vascular insulin resistance) in healthy young men. But the Univ. of Missouri researchers found no real effect on the young women.
From Medical Xpress: Sedentary lifestyle and sugary diet more detrimental to men, study finds
A new study from the University of Missouri School of Medicine is the first evidence in humans that short-term lifestyle changes can disrupt the response to insulin of blood vessels. It's also the first study to show men and women react differently to these changes.
Vascular insulin resistance is a feature of obesity and type 2 diabetes that contributes to vascular disease. Researchers examined vascular insulin resistance in 36 young and healthy men and women by exposing them to 10 days of reduced physical activity, cutting their step count from 10,000 to 5,000 steps per day. The participants also increased their sugary beverage intake to six cans of soda per day.
The results showed that only in men did the sedentary lifestyle and high sugar intake cause decreased insulin-stimulated leg blood flow and a drop in a protein called adropin, which regulates insulin sensitivity and is an important biomarker for cardiovascular disease.
"These findings underscore a sex-related difference in the development of vascular insulin resistance induced by adopting a lifestyle high in sugar and low on exercise," said Manrique-Acevedo.