Published On: Mon, Feb 4th, 2013

Healthy Living: Five shocking health facts for men

Health facts every man needs to know

Many facts related to healthy living are true regardless of your gender; however, men also have their own unique health concerns they need to pay attention to. To help keep your health in check and uncover some surprising health stats, check out these health facts every man needs to know.

1 in 3 men are secret dieters

Hands up who’s on a diet? No one? We’re not quite sure we believe you! According to a survey by Diet Chef of more than 600 men, 90 percent of men want to lose weight, but almost one in three wouldn’t tell anyone they were on a diet; including their friends and family.

It is believed that this may be because a certain amount of shame still exists around the topic of weight loss, particularly for men, which makes men hesitant to admit they have a problem, and also worried about the jibes they will get from friends and colleagues if they admit to trying to lose weight. As the term ‘diet’ is generally associated with women, men may also feel embarrassed about admitting they are on one. If you are serious about losing weight and think the support will help, we say speak up boys – there’s nothing to be ashamed of!

One fizzy drink a day raises prostate cancer risk

If the implications for your teeth and waistline weren’t enough to put you off drinking fizzy drinks, you may want to bear in mind study results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which show that drinking just one 300ml fizzy drink a day could raise your risk of developing prostate cancer (the sixth leading cause of death by cancer in men) by as much as 40 percent.

According to the 15-year study, the risk does not apply to the early stages of the disease but to the more serious, faster growing forms of prostate cancer, which are more likely to be fatal. It is believed that this risk is increased due the release of insulin (triggered by the sugar in fizzy drinks) which feeds tumours. To look after your health, try swapping fizzy drinks for water or fruit juice, which the study suggested had no link with the disease.

Caffeine can ruin your confidence

If you have some big decisions to make in work and are feeling under pressure, research suggests you should steer clear of coffee. A study conducted by researchers at Bristol University found that, while caffeine helps women to perform better in stressful situations, it has the opposite effect on men.

The study found that caffeine inhibited men’s ability to deal with stress, slowing down their performance on memory tests and puzzles. Drinking coffee also affected their confidence, making them more likely to underestimate their performance on the tests. Rather than reaching for coffee next time you are feeling stressed, try some relaxation tips such as taking deep breaths, listening to calming music or using visualisation to imagine a scene that brings you comfort.

Not brushing your teeth can cause erectile dysfunction

As if you needed another reason to brush your teeth (come on guys, no one enjoys bad breath!), a Turkish study has revealed that men who suffer from periodontitis – a serious gum infection and inflammation of the gums – are three times more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction than those with healthy gums.

This is particularly worrying as, according to a study by the American Dental Association, only 66 percent of men brush their teeth twice or more a day, compared to 86 per cent of women. Furthermore, research findings published in the Journal of Periodontology showed that women are almost twice as likely to have regular dental checkups than men. To decrease your risk of developing periodontitis, make sure you maintain a good level of oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily and regularly visiting your dentist.

Men are happiest at 37

Feel depressed at the thought of hitting your 30s? Don’t be; research suggests you could be heading for your happiest age. While many men believe that being young, single and free is the key to happiness, a study by menswear brand Jacamo has found that 37 is the happiest age for men, as this is the age when they have developed a stable routine, have not yet reached the age for a midlife crisis and have the benefit of life experience and increased self-confidence.

This is also an age where many men have reached happiness-boosting milestones in their personal life and career. Some of the milestones that make men happiest according to the survey were, in order, becoming a parent, getting married, seeing their favourite sports team win the league and buying a new house.

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