Advocacy, Public Policy

Men’s Health Takes Center Stage at the White House

In 2012, Men’s Health Network launched the Dialogue on Men’s Health series, which regularly brings together healthcare professionals, patient groups, community organizations, private corporations, and government agencies to address the unique challenges that confront men, boys, and their families. So you can imagine how delighted we were when the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asked MHN to help organize a Dialogue on Men’s Health event at the White House January 8, 2016. The goal of the White House event—and of all of the Dialogues—was to inspire, engage, motivate, and activate the private- and public sectors to make men’s health a priority. A lofty goal, but one that was achieved with remarkable success.

tamh - WH speakers
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Eye Health, Others

protect senses as you ageHow to Preserve Your Senses as You Age 

As you get older, it’s normal to find that you’re not able to see, hear or smell things as well as when you were younger. Yes, you grow older and wiser, but you also feel older and less sharp in your senses. Luckily, there are preventative measures you can start taking now to preserve your senses as you grow older. Follow these tips to enjoy your senses for longer:

Save Your Sight

As you get older, your pupils can shrink up to a third of their original size and let less light into your eyes, which explains why it is harder to see in dim light. Your lenses also lose elasticity over time, which makes it harder for you to focus close up. The result is blurry vision. To help your vision:

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Masculinity, Sports

football - concussionThe Frightening World of Sports, Concussions, and Traumatic Brain Injury, Part I

Why I Quit Playing Football

Thirty years ago, I abruptly quit playing high school football while my team was preparing for a playoff game in which the winner would advance to the 1985 New Hampshire Division I-High School Football Championship. My teammates and coaches were upset at me and confused as to why I just stopped playing football. I had no idea how to tell them the truth and rumors ran rampant.

No, it wasn’t because I couldn’t get a ride to and from practices or games.

No, it wasn’t because I just woke up one morning with a plan to ruin all of my relationships and make myself an outcast.

No, it wasn’t that I wanted to devote all of my time to becoming an alcoholic and a drug addict.

No, it wasn’t because I wanted to end my athletic career on the lowest note possible after having devoted so much time and effort winning many ribbons, trophies, and championships.

I’d racked up 13 concussions from age four through 16 and got most of them while playing sports. Football and soccer were the major contributors. I went to the hospital after my first few concussions, but then I began hiding them so I could keep playing. I stopped playing soccer in middle school because of concussions. I should’ve stopped playing football for the same reason after winning the 1983 New Hampshire Pop Warner Championship Game, but I kept on playing in high school.
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Family Issues, Parenting

Greater Access to Long-Term-Care: A Call from the Panini Generation

As I was recently arranging care for my ailing father-in-law, a friend texted me that I was in the “sandwich generation.” I texted back “No, that doesn’t quite capture it. A sandwich can be light and fluffy – it is more like a panini – hot pressure squeezing on both sides.” She replied: “Ha! You said it!” She too has two school-aged children and aging parents who are in need of help.

Indeed, my day job and personal life have been on a collision course these past six months. In February, my mother-in-law was hospitalized for a week following a catastrophic heart attack that ultimately took her life after five days in the ICU. My father-in-law’s dementia has worsened and we recently moved him into assisted living.

Between these developments, my mom took a spill at home and broke her hip and wrist, and spent nearly six weeks in an inpatient rehabilitation facility. While my knowledge and understanding of the health care system certainly have come in handy (e.g., explaining to my father, who has a PhD, the difference between observation stays and inpatient stays), I would have preferred not needing to bring my professional expertise to bear to the benefit of my family.
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Health

do it yourself medicineThe Future of Do-It-Yourself Medicine

Why see a doctor if you can Google your symptoms anyway? Shucks, you can tile your bathroom, build a deck or even add a floor to your house using Home Depot. Resources for everything you can think, or do, are available on the world-wide-web. Don’t believe me? Just check out the innumerable “For Dummies” books online.

Needed Nugget

I have to say that I understand where you’re coming from. Western medicine is more “reactive” or “defensive” than it is “preventative” in nature. Our “pill for every ill” culture simply doesn’t cut it for you anymore. And doctors are hard to reach, talk to you in tongues, are poor listeners, and only have 11 minutes of time with you. Meanwhile, you are in possession of a well honed, hybrid information seeking strategy that rapidly sifts through and properly evaluates reams of online content, getting the nugget you need in no time. So why not apply your vast “content curator” skills to help you stay healthy?

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Nutrition, Other Cancers

ferment your way to optimal healthFerment Your Way to Optimal Health

There has been a rise in the flourishing and enthusiastic trend of experimenting with fermentation to enhance flavors and create healthier and more sustainable foods. Of course, fermentation is by no means a recent technique. It is ancient and there is evidence from the Neolithic period that suggests that there was intentional fermentation of fruit, rice, or honey beverages for at least 10,000 years. It is probable that alcohol fermentation was one of the first chemical reactions observed by humans, and when they realized that a good time could be had by all, no party has been complete without it.

Fermentation is the flip side of the spoilage of food as a result of bacterial action. Early in history, humans discovered that for certain foods, enzymatic changes could result in products that were enjoyable to consume. It can be presumed that our ancestors used fermentation of food and beverages for preservation, enhanced nutritional value, and to improve flavors. Although we are not specifically concerned with food preservation in an era of refrigeration and chemical preservatives, our renewed ardor for this old technique is now all about exotic flavors and nutrition.
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Added on April 18, 2012

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