men's health by the numbersBeing male is now the single largest demographic factor for early death
OUR EVOLUTIONARY BROTHERS
In evolutionary terms, where we are now represents a fraction along the evolutionary road. If human history were a football field, the period of time we lived as hunter-gatherers would represent 99 ½ yards. This period we live in now post-Industrial Revolution would only represent a few inches of the last half yard.
Our male ancestors were lean, fit, and were free of inflammatory diseases. It is in your DNA to be a man who is lean, fit, and active in his world. Our ancestors were superior to us in almost every health measurable way. What someone usually says to me at this point is, “But they died earlier!” This is true. However, our ancestral brothers had to contend with higher infant mortality, higher rates of warfare, trauma, accidents, exposure to the elements, and no modern medical care. Our ancestral brothers didn’t get diabetes, obesity, gout, hypertension, and most cancers that plague us today.
This profound mismatch between our genetic heritage and contemporary society is responsible for many of our modern health concerns. This is where our work together will begin.
UNDERSTANDING MEN’S PSYCHOLOGY
The nutrition and fitness space has predominantly been feminized. Little attention has been given how men engage nutrition and other health related interventions. The nutritional industry has largely ignored men’s “way of being“. Given the staggering risks associated with men’s health such as depression, suicide, prostrate cancer, testicular cancer, there is an urgent need to address men’s health issues. Seventy-five percent of suicides are committed by men. On a global level, a man commits suicide every minute. Men are suffering, but you would never know it if you watched the media. Men’s health issues are largely ignored until it is too late. Men are complicated and multi-dimensional. Here at Nutritional Consulting for Men, we are providing services for men, by men.
Behavioral Trends That Contribute to Men’s Poor Health
- Men are often reluctant to openly discuss their health or how they feel about the impact of significant life events;
Men are more reluctant to take action when they don’t feel physically or mentally well, and; Men engage in more risky activities that are harmful to their health
Here are four key pieces to men’s psychology that impact a man’s health and his ability to advocate for his own physical and mental health well-being.
1. Burden of Performance
Men are born into a culture of performance. Like it or not, play it or not, as a man you will always be evaluated on your performance (or the perception of it). You cannot remove yourself from this performance equation. You can cease to direct your part in this performance, but until you die you cannot exit the game. Men are expected to perform. Having a proper and individualized eating strategy means performing better at work, with your family, and life. Eating better means performing better.
2. Dominance Hierarchy
Men live in a dominance hierarchy, rather than butt heads like big horn sheep, men compete for status. Status can be many things; power, money, prestige, intelligence, fame, success, attractiveness, height, and many other characteristics. The striving for status can be hidden, even existing below men’s daily consciousness, but it is there. If you buy into the evolution premise, perhaps our genetic wiring regarding our psychology is still very much the same? Ultimately, the end game is getting a competitive edge to compete better. For what? That’s up to you. Eating well means competing at a level that allows you to win at life.
3. Provide and Protect
Many of the issues that are unique to men operate like a software program operating behind the scenes with very little awareness. Provide and protect is often recognized as a positive male attribute. The expression, “Women and children first” comes to mind as an expression that embodies this value. Men are supposed to put other’s needs first and his needs second. Men often want to do this and take great pride in their role as provider and protector. It’s in our hard wiring to put our needs second. This makes putting a nutritional and fitness program front and center difficult, but not impossible once you connect your health allows you to better serve and provide for those you love. Creating a sensible eating strategy to meet life’s demands means being a better man, husband, employee/employer, brother, partner, or any other way you define yourself.
4. Brain Differences and Testosterone
Scientist have now determined that at 2 months in utero the male fetus is flooded with the mother’s testosterone thus turning the baby boy’s brain into what is being called the “male brain.” The male brain being characterized as a problem-solving brain or maybe more accurately a brain that is built for understanding and building systems. For this reason, recommendations for weight loss and fitness are problems to be solved rather than connected to our inner emotional landscape. Low T count for men is a growing problem. Many of the problems men are encountering today are a result in low T and a poor diet that makes the problem worse. With an eating strategy that promotes nutrient-dense, properly-prepared, whole foods, natural T levels can be improved. Further exploration of T count may need to be explored.