browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

News & Articels

Phat Dads Club to the Rescue

below Article By Kim Hookem-Smith | Yahoo Lifestyle – Thu, Jun 14, 2012 14:14 BST

Becoming a dad is bad for your body.  New mums may experience the most dramatic body changes on becoming a parent, but new dads are also likely to see expanding waistlines and get into unhealthy habits.

Britain’s dads are in poor physical shape and put on an average of a stone-and-a-half in weight after becoming a father, a new study has discovered.  A lack of time to exercise, an increase in the number of takeaways and endless sleepless nights are to blame, with six out of ten dads admitting they’re ‘out of shape’.

Paul Keenan, of Benenden Healthcare, which carried out the Men’s Health Forum study said: ”The modern lifestyle is a hectic one and this study clearly shows the impact this is having on fatherhood.  As we approach Father’s Day, we discover that the modern dad’s health is suffering under the strain from diverging pressures such as work and family life.  As a result, dads are taking shortcuts with their diets leading to increased weight, a more sedentary lifestyle and eventually running the risk of health scares”.

Men’s Health Week 2012 is highlighting the fact that heart disease is the biggest killer of men in the UK, and these results show how men are hurtling towards increasing strain on the heart.  The study of 2,000 fathers found that:

  • the average dad can expect to put on 1.6 stone (10.43 kg) after becoming a dad
  • four out of 10 dads aren’t able to pull their (extra) weight in the family home because they’re too exhausted
  • a tenth to have to ‘gear themselves up’ in order to re-join a hectic family life at the end of the day
  • more than a quarter sneak in naps during the weekdays in order to cope
  • one in 20 owned up to having snoozed while on the toilet at work
  • an exhausted one in five have even fallen asleep while in the middle of reading to their children
  • one in three dads is under heavy pressure as worries about job stability impact
  • 42 per cent have used energy drinks to power through the day
  • finishing the family’s leftover food, ordering takeaways at work and hours spent lazing in ‘dad’s chair’, are just some of the habits that have lead one in five fathers to suffer a health scare
  • the family unit is suffering as working pressures combined with poor diets led thirty per cent to admit home life has gotten too much for them at times.
  • A fifth of fathers confessed they were in terrible shape – 40 per cent feel their health and the hours they work mean they aren’t pulling their weight when it comes to family and domestic life
  • One in five dads have texted someone they knew were in the same house to save getting up
  • 20% regularly find themselves breathless after running up the stairs

The Benenden research found many dads also feel fed up or too tired to play with their children or snap at them as a consequence of being overworked and undernourished.  The study also quizzed 500 young adult children (aged 18-30) on their dad’s health:

  • 3 out of 10 said they have cause to suspect their father might be suffering from a more serious health issue
  • A concerned 6 in 10 say their dad isn’t fit or very healthy
  • half of young adults say their dad is overweight
  • 46% say their dad regularly makes a joke about having a big belly
  • 1 in 10 have been embarrassed by their dad performing terribly at a school sports day and others are anxious at their participation
  • 33% of young adult children think their dad is stubborn and refuses to deal with health issues unless pushed

”Men are facing an uphill struggle with their health when they become fathers,” said Dr Ian Banks, president of the Men’s Health Forum.  “The survey shows even their kids know it. Heart disease is the biggest cause of premature death in men.  We’re saying you only live once – if you want to be around to see your kids grow up you need to stay healthy.”

The recent cardiac arrest suffered by top footballer Fabrice Muamba delivered a strong reality check for one in three fathers, alerting men to the need to take their own health more seriously.  Make sure you or your partner isn’t falling into these common male health traps and discover how to also reduce the risk of male cancers.

Why being a Couch Potato is as bad as Smoking – Failing to get fit causes 90,000 deaths a year

Below PUBLISHED: 18 July 2012 | by Sophie Borland

If you thought kicking the cigarette habit was enough to keep you healthy, you may want to go and find your trainers.

Because failing to take enough exercise is as deadly as smoking, researchers say.

  • Death toll from smoking is only slightly higher
  • Only 30% of us get enough exercise each week

More than 90,000 lives in Britain each year are lost from illnesses including heart disease, breast and bowel cancer and diabetes.  The death toll is only marginally lower than that for smoking, which is responsible for around 100,000 deaths annually.

Under NHS guidelines, everyone is meant to take at least two and a half hours of exercise a week including fast walking, intensive gardening or even heavy housework.  But only about 30% do, with 20% saying they only work up a sweat once a month.

Researchers at Harvard estimated the number of lives lost each year because of a lack of exercise.  The study, published in The Lancet, found that worldwide it leads to one in ten deaths, or 5.3million of the 57million deaths globally.

In Britain, however, the proportion is even higher and nearly one in six deaths are directly caused by our ‘Couch Potato Lifestyle’.  This includes almost one in five bowel cancer deaths, one in six from breast cancer and one in ten from heart disease.

Lead researcher Dr I-Min Lee, from Harvard Medical School, said: “Am I surprised that it’s comparable to smoking.  Only about one quarter of the world’s population smoke but about two thirds are inactive.  The UK is doing worse than the world average. We’re not sure why this is but only about a third are taking the recommended amount of exercise.  It could be to do with the weather.  There is also a lack of infrastructure to encourage people to walk and cycle.  A good way to get people active is by commuting to work, walking and cycling.  This happens in London, but even here it’s tough because the roads are so narrow.”

Dr Lee added that in future she hoped those who didn’t take exercise would be regarded as ‘social pariahs’.   “Tobacco has done it successfully.  Many years ago most people smoked but now you are becoming an outcast if you smoke,” she added.  Dr Lee said her figures on the proportion of deaths in the UK caused by lack of physical activity were an estimate and campaigners insisted that smoking caused many more cases of cancer than not exercising.

Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said:  “When it comes to preventing cancer, stopping smoking is by far the most important thing you can do.  Smoking is responsible for over 60,000 cases of the disease each year in the UK, making it the biggest preventable cause of cancer but the role of physical activity in cancer prevention shouldn’t be underestimated.”  According to research funded by the charity, keeping active could help to prevent more than 3,000 cases of breast, bowel and womb cancer in the UK each year.

In a separate study, also published in The Lancet, Brazilian researchers ranked Britain as third from bottom in a European league table of exercise.  The nation has twice as many ‘inactive’ adults as France, Greece and the Netherlands, according to their analysis of World Health Organisation data.