I occasionally catch the Dr. Oz show and while I understand the major audience of day time TV, it still has bugged me that, like almost every other wellness related media, he focuses so much on women’s health and well-being. You are a man, talk to the men, or at least talk to women about the men in their life. Maybe he could make Manday (Mondays) or something so at least 20% of what he talks about can benefit men. And here is the important part, as a man he is in a unique place to understand how to connect with men on these issues. Rather than the women regurgitating his information for them to men, he can focus on men’s issues and how to communicate to men the best ways to go about it – much as I am trying to do here at Well-Met Man.
Well, yesterday, Dr. Oz did an episode where he took one small step towards focusing on men. After hearing about how men are annoyed with how women force his information and changes on them (there is even a website called I Hate Dr. Oz) he did a show just for men. On it he tried to focus on three things that men can do for their health. The best part is these 3 things are not foods to eat or not eat, not supplements to take, they are simply 3 tests to take. Of course depending on the results of the test there may be steps needed but those would be important steps and the impetus to do them would be on men since they know they are not well. You can go to his site and see the entire show and a separate page on the 3 steps, but here is a quick breakdown on what do do and how to read the results.
- Blood Pressure Reading High blood pressure is a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death among men in the US. Ideally, blood pressure should be under 115/75. For every increase of 20 points in the top number or 10 points in that bottom number, you’re twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke. Also, men whose top number varies by 15 points between both arms are at a greater risk for vascular disease than those who have similar readings from each arm.
- Prostate Exam After lung cancer, prostate cancer is the deadliest cancer in men. Men over the age of 50 should have a prostate exam each year, but you should start sooner if you have a family history.
- Blood Glucose Test While death rates for cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer have been declining, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease are on the rise. A fasting blood sugar greater than 100 puts you at a greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
So outside of getting the tests, the basics for some major health issues are watch your sugar and your salt. I know, the two things we think of as adding flavor – ‘salty-sweet’ snacks even seem to be gaining popularity where both are present – are the two we need to cut back on. But as I and many who have turned to healthier diets have learned, fresh, well-made food can be as if not better tasting than all that junk.
Kudos to Dr. Oz for this show, but I would like to see him take it a step further and give men a by a man for men wellness option more often than this one-time special show.