June is National Men’s Health Month and it is essential for men to take charge of their health. The month focuses on heightening the awareness of preventable health issues and encouraging men to be proactive with early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. The official symbol of the month is a blue ribbon
Though Men’s Health Month has been recognized for more than 25 years, this 2020 observation comes with considerable notoriety, especially for black men. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health, African American men over 20 are diagnosed with the following conditions:
- Diabetes, 13.4 percent of Black men versus 8.7 percent of white men
- Hypertension among those 20+, 41.8 percent of Black men versus 31.1 percent of white men
- Obesity, 63 percent of black men 20+ were overweight or obese
- Stroke, black men are 60 percent more likely to die from a stroke
And then there is heart disease which is increased by diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Not a pretty picture. Add these ever-present health issues to the arrival of coronavirus-19, violence and frequent mistreatment by law enforcement officers, and you have fuel for a health disaster. In taking an unscientific poll, I asked a few men why they did not take better care of their health, I heard “too busy,” “I just don’t think about it,” “I don’t have time to exercise,” and “I’m on the see food diet—I see food, I eat it.” Definitely not the answers to keep a man healthy.