Shining a Spotlight on Men’s Health

Today we would like to take a moment to talk about men’s health.

This is because November is Movember Month, a charity-based event with the goal of ‘shining a spotlight’ on men’s health issues.

Movember is not a typo; it is simply a combination of the word mo (a diminutive word for moustache) and November.

moustacheMovember began in 2004 when 30 men in Melbourne, Australia grew moustaches for 30 days to raise awareness of prostate cancer and depression.

Since these humble beginnings, the group has gone on to create the Movember Foundation, a multinational charity with offices in 21 countries across Africa, Europe, and North America.

The organization has raised $710 million in donations and funded 1200 programs in order to increase awareness about several issues affecting men’s health, including prostate and testicular cancer, mental health, suicide prevention and the importance of adopting a healthful lifestyle.

While the charity works tirelessly throughout the year, it is most famous for the annual Movember event where men grow moustaches to draw attention to men’s health issues.

Why Is Movember so Important?

moustacheMen’s health issues receive scant attention, even though men have a shorter lifespan than women and are more likely to suffer from certain health conditions.

Here are some compelling statistics to illustrate the disparities between men and women:

  • Longevity: On average across the world, men die about seven years earlier than women.
  • Heart Disease: Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and half of those who die suddenly from heart disease had no previous symptoms.
  • Cancer: The probability of a man developing cancer is 44.85 percent while it is 38.08 percent for women. Most cancers are more common in males than females.
  • Diabetes: In the US, 9.6 million men have diagnosed diabetes, while 80.7 million men are estimated to have pre-diabetes.
  • Mental Health/Suicide: In 2005, 25,848 men died from suicide, almost four times as many as female suicide deaths.

How to Solve the Male Health Problem?

To solve this gender-based health inequality, we have to make people more conscious that it exists in the first place—which is precisely why events like Movember are so vital.

But awareness must be wed with action. Specifically, men (and the women in their lives) need to understand the importance of men adopting positive lifestyle habits such as:Dr. Rosane Oliveira and Paella

  • Stopping smoking
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation
  • Managing stress
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Engaging in physical activity

And last but not least, eating a healthful, and varied diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

In this spirit of action, how about commemorating Movember by preparing an excellent whole food plant-based meal? Here is a recipe for Paella that you will love.

Remember that no matter if you are a man or a woman, we can all contribute to men’s health issues through awareness, conversation, and actions both big and small!