Food is often the best medicine, and the right food can make all the difference in your health, energy and vitality.
Women have always known this about food and health: it’s part of their upbringing, worldwide, to learn about food, diet, recipes, gardening, cooking, and nutrition. Men, broadly speaking, have no such culture (the celebrity chef culture, which is largely men, is largely television-based, and more about appearance than reality, IMO).
The other gender gap in health is not about women, though Malala’s riveting book and amazing appearance on The Daily Show argues successfully, as Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In does in parallel, for much greater attention to women’s needs, especially educational needs, than society has given.
The other gender gap in health is about men.
Men die 5.2 years younger than women (it was just 1 year 80 years ago). Why?
- Men’s fertility, sperm counts, and testosterone levels are lower than 20 years ago, and 20 years before that, worldwide. Why?
Men get diabetes at average BMI 31; women at 33. Why?
- Men’s obesity in the U.S. has risen from 27% in 1999 to over 35% today, but obesity in women stayed the same. Why?
- 1 in 2 men get cancer, and 1 in 3 women. Why?
- Only 5% of peer-reviewed obesity treatment research is done in men alone. Why?
4x as many men commit suicide as do women. Why?
Depression comes out as anger in men and more men (26%) than women (22%) have had a major depressive episode in life. Why?
- Up to 1/4 of all men experience erectile dysfunction. Why?
I applaud anyone who has tried to get their health under control by changing their lifestyle habits nutritionally and physically: men especially like to be at peak condition. Still, the problems are complex: men are busy, men have little interest in cooking or dieting; few men have the incentives which Sir Charles tells us about, when the microphones are live.
The solution is simple: create a plan that is simple, fun and easy, that relies on taking the easiest step, not on motivation. That is a slam dunk to follow, and to share. And most importantly, is tailored for men and their interests: in getting stronger, in having sex, in boosting testosterone, in losing the gut if they have one, in looking and feeling better, and younger. And in taking care of others.
New attention to the gender gap in health will help men, whose health, strength and stamina have been left in a ditch to die.
It will also help women–women who want more energy, quality time, companionship, partnership, and attention from their mate, boyfriend, partner, brother, cousin, uncle. Because too many men who are overweight or obese have too much of what women have and need–estrogen. But REFUEL successfully reverses that, for men and women.
To be successful for the long term, men need the help of women, and welcome it. It will be up to women to see that men’s success in getting strong and lean, and the steps that women can fill in for men because they need it, will help women and kids as much as it helps men.