News Manitoba

Manitoban men among unhealthiest in Canada

By Portage Daily Graphic, Portage Daily Graphic

(File photo)

(File photo)

New Canadian research released today finds 72 per cent of men regularly demonstrate two or more unhealthy habits, including a poor diet, smoking cigarettes, problem drinking, not exercising or not getting regular sleep.

Manitoba and Saskatchewan were grouped together in the final report, and were found to be the unhealthiest region in Canada, with 78.6 per cent of men deemed unhealthy. Men in these provinces also scored highest for unhealthy cigarette smoking, unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

“We now have a platform to evaluate health behaviours of Canadian men over time. I hope other researchers will use this platform to study different populations around the globe and design targeted interventions to engage men to live healthier lifestyles,” says Dr. Larry Goldenberg, chairman of the CMHF. “After all, 70 per cent of men’s chronic health conditions are caused by lifestyle and, unlike genetics, can be changed to improve your health.”

The study, conducted on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF), is the first in this country to study health behaviours rather than diseases, and the first to simultaneously look at five key health behaviours that help prevent chronic disease (diet, sleep, exercise, smoking and drinking). Its release coincides with the first day of Canadian Men’s Health Week, which takes place annually in the week leading up to Father’s Day.

Details of the study findings include: 
•         62% of Canadian men have an unhealthy diet
•         54% of Canadian men under or over sleep
•         59% of Canadian men do not get 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise per week
•         39% of Canadian men have unhealthy alcohol consumption
•         20% of Canadian men smoke cigarettes
 
Only 6 per cent of respondents exhibited no unhealthy behaviours and were classified as ‘very healthy.’ Those who exhibited only one unhealthy behaviour were deemed healthy (22%). Men with two unhealthy behaviours were considered borderline (31%) and those with three or more of the above behaviours were classified as unhealthy (42%).

“Think of these categories as a ladder. Most Canadian men can move up a rung by changing just one unhealthy behaviour,” says Wayne Hartrick, president of the CMHF. “They can go up two rungs by changing two behaviours, like eating five fist-sized servings of fruit and getting seven hours of sleep. It’s about having the control to veer away from disease versus ‘Oops, I’ve got it, it sucks and why didn’t I prevent it!’”

The CMHF website DontChangeMuch.ca offers easy to follow, medically-backed simple tips and tools to help men and their families live healthier lives.

ABOUT THE STUDY

These are the findings of an Intensions Consulting study conducted between April 20, 2017 and April 28, 2017, on behalf of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation and released publicly today. For this study, an online survey was administered with a sample of 2,000 Canadian men between the ages of 19 and 94 years. The sample was stratified to ensure that the sample’s composition reflected the underlying distribution of the Canadian population as determined by 2016 Census data. A traditional probability sample of comparable size would have produced results considered accurate to within plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
 


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