Men’s Health Week is a great opportunity for men to reconsider how poor diet impacts quality of life, says a leading Brisbane men’s health doctor.
St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital men’s health physician Dr Michael Gillman said a recent ABS Health Survey, showing only five per cent of Queenslanders eat enough vegetables, confirmed what doctors see every day.
“Men are probably even worse culprits than women in not eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables,” Dr Gillman said, as Australia marked Men’s Health Week (15-21 June).
He said good health was based on many factors including eating a nutritious diet, maintaining an active body and mind, feeling good about yourself, connecting to friends, and being productive within your community.
“I see a lot of male patients whose diets are heavy in meat and convenience foods, and light on fruit and veggies. Unfortunately calorie-rich, nutritionally-sparse diets such as these have been linked to cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, including bowel cancer.”
Dr Gillman said men were more likely than women to be overweight or obese, which is associated with a number of health issues including increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, some cancers, musculoskeletal and respiratory conditions, gall bladder disease, sleep apnoea, incontinence, and reproductive and mental health disorders.
He said many obesity-related conditions were preventable, and some were reversible to varying extents through weight loss achieved through an active lifestyle and nutritious diet.
“In general, it’s the sensible things your mother would tell you that really are the keys to good health – eat a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, get enough sleep, exercise regularly, cut back on alcohol, ditch the cigarettes, and watch your weight.”
Dr Gillman said it was also important for men to manage any chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and cholesterol or diabetes responsibly, and ensure they were following their medical practitioner’s treatment advice.
“Because of the prevalence of skin cancer in Queenslanders, Queensland men should also be especially mindful to adopt sun protection when working or playing sport outdoors, do self-checks, and consult their GP for regular cancer screenings.”
He said it was also crucial for men to keep their stress levels down and look after their mental health by discussing any feelings of depression or anxiety with a family friend or GP.
Media contact: Bonnie Harrison, Compass Communications Group, phone (07) 3839 7605.