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For Release: June 7, 2011 - Pamela Williams, Office of Communications – (405) 271-5601

Don’t Weight Oklahoma Men! Take Steps to Prevent Obesity

Men’s Health Month, June 2011

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is partnering with the Men’s Health Network (MHN) to celebrate National Men’s Health Month, June 2011.  The theme “Stay Tough! Stay Healthy!” helps call attention to the growing problem of obesity in men in Oklahoma. 

About 74 percent of Oklahoma men are overweight or obese and men at all income and educational levels are at risk for obesity.  To reduce their risk, men should take small steps each day to maintain a healthy weight by being physically active for at least 30 minutes on most days of the week and eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

“We want to encourage men to make their health a top priority. Having a healthy weight should be the goal for most men,” said State Health Commissioner Dr. Terry Cline. “To maintain a healthy weight or to lose weight, men should visit their doctor and discuss lifestyle changes they can make to prevent obesity, such as increasing daily physical activity and eating more fruits and vegetables. Improving the health of Oklahoma’s men is certainly an important part of shaping our state’s future.”

Men often forget that preventive health care such as testicular self-exams, PSA (prostate specific antigen) blood tests, colorectal cancer screenings, cholesterol and blood sugar checks are also important in staying healthy.  When a man is healthy, he reduces his likelihood of illness, injuries, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, and he has lower absenteeism at work and may have reduced health care costs.  

Men’s Health Month provides an opportunity for all men to take charge of their health.  The OSDH encourages interested groups to consider events in various settings, such as businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, health clinics, and recreation centers.  Possible events may include:

  • Scheduling “Wear Blue” days to promote men’s health
  • Promoting men’s health topics during Sunday church services
  • Coordinating a stair climbing or walking challenge
  • Hosting a lunch-n-learn series
  • Collecting pennies to donate to a men’s health or fatherhood organization

A toolbox for community organizations interested in planning an event for National Men’s Health Month is available at http://go.usa.gov/DTs. Individuals are encouraged to contact their county health department to learn more about local events. For additional resources on men’s health, visit the Men’s Health Network at http://www.menshealthmonth.org.

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