CMO's gendered approach welcome

11/12/15 . News

The Men’s Health Forum has welcomed the gendered approach taken by England’s Chief Medical Office (CMO) in her annual report.

Following this year's annual report on women's health by the CMO Professor Dame Sally Davies, Health of the 51%: Women, the Men’s Health Forum have called for a future report on the health of men and boys.

Men’s Health Forum Chief Executive Martin Tod said:

It's great that the Chief Medical Officer is taking a gendered approach to health in her 2015 Annual Report. In 1992 a previous CMO published a report on men's health which was one of the triggers for starting the men's health movement in the UK.  We would love her to follow up this report with a report on men and boys' health.

A major focus of the report is on tackling obesity, which is deemed a national risk by the CMO.

It is a problem that affects both sexes. The Men’s Health Forum has been active in improving weight management programmes for men to tackle obesity. In England, 14 million men are overweight or obese, and not adequately helped by weight management programmes. There is a link between obesity or overweight and an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are particular problems for men. Still 75% of premature deaths from CVD are men.

The Men’s Health Forum, who have long called for a gendered approach to health, argue that engaging men and women in weight management programmes requires recruitment and programme content to reflect the different needs of women and men. To this end, the Men’s Health Forum have published: 

Deputy chief executive Tracy Herd has written a blog for the NIHR on how to engage with men by addressing gender, fitness and health benefits to tackle obesity in men.

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.

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