NOTE: The following is an excerpt from TeleVox’s Healthy World report, “The Obesity Epidemic: Unhealthy Habits Result in a Growing Problem for Americans”, which discusses both the patient and provider views on the fastest-growing health problem in America. Download it HERE!
Men tend to be viewed as strong and prone to a “fix-it” mentality. So when something is going wrong, be it a disease or a few extra pounds, men take it upon themselves to try to find a solution. Unfortunately, despite their do-it-yourself nature, many men are struggling to find solutions to the problems of obesity and weight management.
Men know what the problem is. According to The Obesity Epidemic: Unhealthy Habits Result in a Growing Problem for Americans, 88 percent of men believe that diet and exercise, and not genetics, are the biggest causes of obesity in Americans. But many men are not taking action to combat the causes of obesity, making it a growing problem. Nearly half of men in America (47 percent) said that not getting enough exercise or physical activity has negatively impacted their health. While there are some things that cannot be controlled, it is important for men to remain on top of the things they can control. What we eat and how often we exercise are both things that can be managed on a daily basis. Not only will it help weight management, but it will help to prevent many other diseases and conditions. Given that many children see their fathers as role models, men making healthy lifestyle choices will also encourage the next generation to do the same.
Growth in Obesity Rate
However, the number of men across the country that need to lose weight continues to grow. Seventy-five percent of American men said they could benefit from losing weight right now. Whether it means losing a couple of pounds, or a more significant change, men are no exception to the growing obesity trend. Currently, 47 percent of men report they could do a better job of managing their weight. According to the CDC, the obesity rate among men increased from 27.5 percent to 35.5 percent in the last decade — a massive jump in just 10 years. Men have noticed the increase, as 60 percent think that obesity in adults is a significant problem in the U.S.
How Providers Can Help
On the positive side, there are many men across the nation taking the right steps to seek help with managing their weight. Thirty-six percent of men report talking with their doctor about their weight, according to The Obesity Epidemic. In addition, 64 percent of men said they would be interested in and/or happy to receive communications from their doctor with tips on how to manage their weight, and 25 percent said that communications from their doctor between office visits, such as emails, text messages, or voicemails, would help them better manage their overall health. This indicates that providers can make a difference in the fight against obesity by using technology to engage patients between office visits.
While some men have taken the initiative to discuss obesity with their doctors, obesity remains a real problem for many American men. Providers taking the step of communicating regularly between office visits through text messages, emails or phone calls can help ensure that men receive the information, support and encouragement they need to follow through with adopting a healthy lifestyle. Simple lifestyle changes can help men that are currently struggling with obesity to lose weight now and also solidify habits that ensure a healthier future.