Did Fried Chicken Make Chinese Man's Breasts Grow?

| by Jared Keever

A Chinese man was reportedly told to lay off the fried chicken after seeking medical advice because his breasts were growing. 

The 26-year-old, who was only identified by his surname, Li, went to see doctors after growing frustrated over his enlarged breasts, according to a brief story from the Chinese news site, 

Doctors reportedly told Li the growth was due to his favorite snack — fried chicken wings and drumsticks. Li was said to have been told the hormones in the chicken were causing the abnormal growth and advised him to eat more fruits and vegetables. 

Enlarged breasts in men is a condition known as gynecomastia. It is caused “by a decrease in the amount of the hormone testosterone compared with estrogen,” according to the Mayo Clinic website. Such an imbalance can be caused by various health conditions, medications and street drugs, the Mayo Clinic site indicates. It does not list meat as a trigger, but does mention that malnutrition is a known cause.


Miguel Toribio-Mateas, a professional nutritionist and chair of the British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy, spoke with the Metro about Li’s story. The news organization noted that the story out of China had not been independently verified and wanted to ask an expert if the chicken could be the cause of Li’s condition. 

“It’s a tricky one because it’s down to genetic composure as well,” Toribio-Mateas said. “Estrogen from external sources – meat for example – is not going to affect everybody.”

He added, however, that hormone-treated meat can affect the body.

“If you eat meat that has been treated with growth hormones, for example, and if genetically you are respondent to those hormones as a man, then you are more likely to develop tissue in places where you shouldn’t have excess tissue," he said.

Toribio-Mateas added that obesity was more likely to cause the condition than an imbalance triggered by hormones in meat, but recommended that those concerned about hormones eat a more plant-based diet and only eat meat raised on a grass-fed diet. 

Sources:, Mayo Clinic, Metro

Photo Credit:, WikiCommons