With Father’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to put a spotlight on men’s health. June is National Men’s Health Month, and this week is specifically Men’s Health Week, which was created in a bill passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Whether you’re a man or are just curious about how to encourage healthy habits for your male loved ones, there are many ways to observe Men’s Health Month and raise awareness about preventable health problems.
With 2021 marking a year into the new decade, the Men’s Health Network (MHN) decided to use this year as an opportunity to both look back and look forward. By using this year’s theme of a new decade and a fresh start to focus on both reflection and prospection, we’re evaluating our physical and mental health. In general, men are less likely to take care of themselves and their health than women, which makes it even more important for men to use this time to reflect on their health.
Men’s Health Statistics
Depression in men often goes undiagnosed, contributing to the fact that men are 4 times as likely to commit suicide.
Approximately 1 in 5 men develop alcohol dependency during their lives.
More than 2,500 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
A 2019 Cleveland Clinic survey found that 82% of men report trying to stay healthy and live longer for those who rely on them, yet only 50% engage in preventive care. This can be due to embarrassment, lack of convenience, not wanting to hear a bad diagnosis, or the stigma associated with talking about medical problems.
According to Armin Brott of MHN, “Men are half as likely to visit the doctor for a check-up as women are, and there are over 7 million American men who have not seen a doctor in over 10 years.”
The male life expectancy is about 5 years less than women.
Leading causes of death for men include heart disease and cancer.
Food security for households with children headed by a single man (15.4%) and men living alone (12.8%) is higher than the national average (10.5%).
Men’s Health Tips and Tricks
Here are some ways you can observe and celebrate Men’s Health Month.
Adjust your diet. Take a moment to evaluate what you are eating. Increase your intake of vegetables, fruits, and protein, and cut back on salty foods, unhealthy fats, and alcohol this month. Meet with a dietician to develop a high-quality, nutritious diet that works for you!
Set goals. Use this month to think about where you currently are and where you want to be so you can set some goals to get you there. Whether you want to get more sleep, exercise more, or eat healthier, set small, achievable goals for yourself, and work with your doctor, family, and friends to accomplish them!
Schedule an appointment. You should be taking responsibility for your health by going in for regular check-ups and appointments. Even if you feel healthy, you should not put off important health screenings. They can result in early detection and treatment of certain diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and depression.
Talk about your mental health. Men are less likely to report feelings of depression and anxiety. It is important for everyone, including men and boys, to talk about their mental health, despite the stigma that men should not talk about their mental state and emotions. Whether you are talking to friends and family or seeking professional help with your doctor or therapist, don’t be afraid to ask for help and talk about your mental health with people you trust. There are also resources online for you to use, such as MentalHealth.gov, NAMI, and Your Head.
Educate yourself and others. Raise awareness about common men’s health issues and healthy practices by educating yourself and others. Visit the CDC’s website to learn more about health issues men commonly face. The Men’s Health Network and Men’s Health Resource Center also has a number of guides and resources available to help you navigate men’s health.
For Men’s Health Month and every month, we are dedicated to providing men and their families with nutritious meals. Visit one of our distributions or Summer Feeding sites this summer if you are in need of food assistance.
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