Category: Health

Does Being Healthy Have To Be Political?

By , April 17, 2012 2:42 pm

The numbers are hard to argue. What I found interesting wasn’t just the different lives these two men lived, but that healthy living is somehow a partisan issue. As long as that’s the case, there are going to be a lot of people who think living an unhealthy life is a exercise in political freedom.

It’s really an exercise in stupidity.

From Piers Morgan/CNN:

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September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

By , September 15, 2011 4:57 pm

Did you know September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? I didn’t, until I saw an interview with former Florida State University football coach Bobby Bowden. He appeared on CNN to talk about surviving prostate cancer and why he hid his diagnosis when he was coaching.

At the end of the interview, Bowden touched on the fact that men have a harder time talking about prostate cancer compared to women talking about breast cancer. I don’t agree that they’re the “same” thing, but there’s definitely more of an open public discussion about breast cancer than there is about prostate cancer.

If guys aren’t interested in talking about it or at least hearing about it, then the one in six men who get prostate cancer are more likely to die from it. But since I got interested in this topic a few years ago, it seems like people are more open about it.

The website Bowden is associated with is called On The Line. It has information for both men and the women in their lives on how to fight prostate cancer. I just found Zero Cancer that educates and promotes screenings for prostate cancer. There’s also the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the American Cancer Society.

According to the ACS, men should get screened no later than age 50. Screenings should begin earlier if they are in a high-risk group. Please, for your sake and the sake of the ones you love, get screened.

Here’s Bowden on CNN:

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Male ER Visits From Underage Drinking Doubles On July 4th

By , July 3, 2011 11:55 pm

Underage drinking is a problem on The 4th Of July.

Especially for young men.

A study by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, or SAMHSA, finds that alcohol-related emergency room visits for men under 21 doubles when we celebrate our nation’s independence. ER visits for women under 21 increase on the holiday as well, but not as much as men.

Besides the issue of underage drinking, there’s also the question of why there’s such a big difference between men and women.

Dr. Pete Delaney, director of the Center for Behavioral Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA, said, ”The social reality is that most girls are probably not drinking as heavily as boys, and they’re probably not getting into fights or even driving as much as boys.”

Here is an ABC News clip with Dr. Michael Anderson from UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital:

Hmm. Men (or in this case, boys) engaging in risky behavior that negatively impacts their health in greater numbers than women? Sounds like what doctors were saying a few months ago about some perceived notions of masculinity being unhealthy.

Read the full story about underage ER visits at ABC News.

Have a fun and safe Independence Day!

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When Masculinity Is Unhealthy

By , April 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Did you hear that doctors have found a health risk for men? It’s called “Masculinity.”

That’s what Boston College professor of psychology James Mahalik told Massachusetts State legislators late last month:

Everything from seatbelt use to alcohol use, smoking, sunscreen use, cardiovascular exercise. Men were worse than women in every category of health behavior except weightlifting…Men may view health risk behaviors as masculine. The very way in which society may present masculinity may, in and of its definition, include taking health risks. We can think of the Marlboro man as a very stoic, masculine kind of guy.

This lifestyle, according to Mahalik, leads to men dying an average of 5.4 years younger than women.

Meanwhile, the Journal of Health And Social Behavior just published the study “‘Macho Men’ and Preventive Health Care: Implications for Older Men in Different Social Classes” that showed macho is stronger than money when it comes to seeking healthcare.

The results show that men with strong masculinity beliefs are half as likely as men with more moderate masculinity beliefs to receive preventive care. Furthermore, in contrast to the well-established SES [socioeconomic status] gradient in health, men with strong masculinity beliefs do not benefit from higher education and their probability of obtaining preventive health care decreases as their occupational status, wealth, and/or income increases. Masculinity may be a partial explanation for the paradox of men’s lower life expectancy, despite their higher SES.

A couple more stats: Men’s Health magazine reported that only 67% of men in their 30′s said they visited a primary care doctor in the last year. According to the 2011 Esquire Health Survey, 45% of men polled didn’t have a primary care physician.

Something is clearly wrong if nearly half of men don’t have a regular doctor. What’s wrong is they’re probably not going to any doctor, not just a primary care doctor.

While masculinity itself isn’t unhealthy, as Dr. Mahalik said, “The very way in which society may present masculinity may, in and of its definition, include taking health risks.”

I’m looking at you, Man Box.

Continue reading 'When Masculinity Is Unhealthy'»

Drinking Only Beer For Lent

By , April 10, 2011 12:40 am

It sounds like a disrespectful college dare gone wrong, but it’s not.

CNN interviewed a newspaper editor and beer blogger who is only drinking beer (and water) for Lent. The beer fast has historical roots relating to 17th Century German monks.

Check out the interview:

Read more at CNN

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Bad Taste At The Heart Attack Grill

By , March 9, 2011 12:20 am

It’s always sad when someone dies at an early age. It’s particularly tragic when that person slowly kills himself while promoting his unhealthy lifestyle.

No, I’m not talking about Charlie Sheen.

The Heart Attack Grill is a restaurant in Phoenix that “glorifies obesity” according to founder, Jon Basso. The unhealthy menu includes a Quadruple Bypass Burger stacked with two pounds of beef and Flatliner Fries cooked in “pure lard.” They also serve “full sugar” Coca-Cola and no-filter cigarettes. If you weigh over 350 pounds, you eat for free.

Check out one of their ads:

“Mild death may occur,” might sound funny in the commercial. Sadly, though, death did occur. The man eating the burger in that ad was Blair River. The 6-foot-8, 575-pound River died last week at the age of 29. His friends think it was complications from pneumonia, but it’s hard not to wonder if obesity contributed to poor health that, in turn, led to his death.

River’s death is reminiscent of the two Marlboro Men, David McLean and Wayne McLaren, who died of lung cancer in the 1990s. In both the Marlboro ads and possibly the Heart Attack Grill ads, these men were paid to promote unhealthy activities, then died as a result of those activities. Both cases are incredibly ironic. By joking about death, the Heart Attack Grill ad is beyond ironic and just brutal.

So, did River’s death cause Basso to make any changes at the Heart Attack Grill?

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Running Away From Old Age

By , April 27, 2010 3:11 pm

For the second year in a row, I’m running in the Father’s Day Race Against Prostate Cancer. I’m looking forward to raising money to fight prostate cancer and to getting my body in shape for the 5-mile race. Now, five miles is the longest distance I’ve ever run, and I’ve gone that distance only a handful of times. It’s probably the limit my 36-year-old body can go in its current condition.

So, I was at once inspired and intimidated when I read this piece from the Times of London that talked about men in their late 30s and 40s who run, cycle, swim and other things in endurance races. The piece is framed as one in which men compete to get through a mid-life crisis. They’re not taking the traditional (or cliched) route of buying a red sports car or dating younger women.

Triathlon is the fastest-growing mass-participation sport in the UK, and endurance sports across the board are bulging at the midriff with middle-aged men with moobs to lose and something to prove.

That something to prove is not getting old. It’s holding on to youth. It’s proving you still have your mojo. I get that. I’m not going through a mid-life crisis, but I can tell I’m slowing down and not able to do as many of the things I used to do.

The funny thing is, I began thinking about what, if anything, I have to prove with this race. I ran it last year, so I know I can get in shape for it. It’s not a question of whether I’m able to prepare for it. But staying youthful and all that entails – health, vibrance, sex-appeal – gets harder as one grows older. This race isn’t just a way to raise money to fight prostate cancer, it’s a chance to prove to myself that I still have It. When the race is over, the plan is to train and race in something else – something bigger. I know I can’t out-run old age, but I’m going to stay ahead of it for as long as I can.

One in six men will get prostate cancer and one in 35 will die from it. Please help me in the fight against prostate cancer by making a contribution to the American Cancer Society on my fundraising page.

Don’t Say Vagina!

By , March 20, 2010 5:09 pm

Were you offended at the word “vagina?” It’s not a dirty word. So, there shouldn’t be a problem with saying it on television, right? That’s what I thought, until I read this.

Kotex is coming out with a new tampon line called U by Kotex. The original ad for the campaign used the word “vagina.” It turns out, using the proper word for female genitalia in a commercial was too much for three broadcast networks. So, they rejected it. Kotex came up with another version of the ad that replaced the v-word with “down there.” That was still over the line for two of those networks because they rejected the revised spot, too. (The networks involved weren’t disclosed.)

It’s bad enough that these corporations rejected the vagina version. It’s not like it’s inappropriate. The ad is for a tampon! But “down there” didn’t make it either? It’s vague, playful without being dirty, and relevant when talking about stuff that happens Down There. (Maybe they should’ve used vajayjay.)

So, after two strikes, here’s the sanitized version Kotex came up with:

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By , January 5, 2010 1:14 am

If there’s one thing that’s as American as baseball and apple pie, it would be, ironically, football. It could even be said that it’s more popular than baseball if you look at the spectacle and money that’s made out of the Super Bowl.

Miami Dolphins Vs Pittsburgh Steelers in Miami

But football is a violent sport that can cause great physical injury to players. That was proven again when Miami Dolphins quarterback Pat White collided with Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor on Sunday. Though he appeared motionless at first, he was finally talking and moving his arms and legs by the time he was taken off the field. (White was seen at in the Dolphins locker room on Monday and is reported to have suffered a “likely concussion.”)

The other quarterbacks in the game were having a rough time, too. White, a rookie quarterback, replaced starting quarterback Chad Henne who was out with an eye injury due to a hit in the first half of the game. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been knocked around in the last few years, too. He’s had four concussions since 2006. Pardon the pun, but it’s mind-boggling that so many injuries, particularly head injuries, are tolerated in football.

Continue reading 'Mind-Boggling'»

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