Each year in the United States, Men’s Health Week is observed and celebrated the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. This year from June 10-16, organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (also called CDC) promote messaging about men’s health. The week serves as a reminder to all men to make healthy choices, including getting regular checkups and getting help for conditions like depression.
A snapshot of men’s health in the United States
According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics in 2017:
- Nearly 37 percent of men 20 years and older were obese.
- About 12 percent of men 18 years and older reported being in fair or poor health; only 26 percent of men in this age range said they were in good health.
- Close to 31 percent of men 18 years and older said they had five or more drinks in one day in the past year. The CDC defines binge drinking as having four or more drinks at any one time.
- Almost 16 percent of men 18 years and older reported that they currently smoked cigarettes.
- Almost 6 percent of men 20 years and older reported being depressed.
A man’s health and his future family
Being healthy is more than just eating fruits and vegetables and being active. Things like smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and being overweight can cause serious health conditions and affect a man’s fertility as well as the health of his partner and his future baby. For example, a pregnant woman who is exposed to secondhand smoke has a higher chance of having a baby with low birthweight than a woman not exposed. The smoke from cigarettes also increases health problems in babies, like ear infections, respiratory problems and sudden infant death syndrome (also called SIDS).
Let’s support the men in our lives
Help support the health of the men in your life! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son or friend, encourage him to:
- Quit smoking and stop drinking too much alcohol. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has more information about local drug and alcohol treatment programs.
- Learn about his family health history. Share our family health history form with him.
- Keep chronic health conditions under control and get regular medical checkups. Certain medical problems may affect his future baby.
- Reduce stress and get help for mental health conditions, like depression and anxiety. Feeling worried, anxious, sad, or stressed sometimes is normal. But if these feelings don’t go away and affect his daily life, it’s important to get help.