MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Tennessee’s men are getting fatter, smoking too much and catching syphilis at a growing rate. Those are just a few of the results released in the 2012 Tennessee Men’s Health Report.
The report took a look at threats to longevity and lifestyles of Tennessee’s men and compared those findings to national averages. The results showed one thing for sure, men of the Volunteer State did not get very good grades.
“They did not surprise me, unfortunately,” Dr. Shawn Hayden told abc24.com.
“We wanted to create a venue under which we could have discussion about the health of the public in Tennessee,” said Dr. Robert Dittus, Vice-Chancellor for Public Health at Vanderbilt University, where the report card was generated.
That discussion referred to by Dr. Dittus could be long. A grade sampler for Tennessee men revealed some dismal results.
F’s were given in the categories of lung cancer, head and neck cancer, and liver disease.
D’s were handed out for stroke, combined cancers and syphilis.
“AIDS, syphilis, and HIV disease in general are on the rise in this state, mainly because of poor education,” said Dr. Hayden. He was not referring to math and English, but health education. “Education and socio-economic status play major roles in whether someone seeks out healthcare or not.”
But, there is a more common element driving Tennessee’s bad health.
“Obesity is an epidemic across the country,” said Dittus, “and it is a particular problem in Tennessee.”
Seventy-five percent of all Tennessee men are considered overweight or obese.
“It’s a staggering problem that we just need to address in both exercise and diet,” Dittus said.
Hayden added, “High-end fiber, in other words, fruits and vegetables are actually the healthiest diet one can have.”
Tennessee’s men graded low, but all is not lost.
“Now that we know these grades,” Hayden said, “we can work on them.”
“We must take this on and be successful,” said Dittus.
“It is not a lost cause,” added Hayden, “we can actually get healthier.”
That is definitely good news.
The only “A” received by Tennessee men was for rate of heart disease related deaths. Believe it or not, Tennessee ranked below the national average.
For more information online, view the entire Tennessee Men’s Health Report Card at www.tnmenshealthreportcard.vanderbilt.edu