Leeds Metropolitan University and the Premier League joined forces to tackle men’s health problems at a meeting hosted by Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Linda McAvan in the European Parliament yesterday.
Professor Alan White of Leeds Metropolitan University was the lead author of a report called ‘The State of Men’s Health in Europe’ which was commissioned and published by the European Commission. The report discovered that men were far more likely to die prematurely than women and that men in poorer socio-economic groups endure significantly worse health than men in higher groups. The results were repeated in every single EU country.
The findings also showed that men are at a far greater risk of getting and dying from cancers that should affect men and women equally while older men are also at a far higher risk of suicide.
Linda McAvan said: “The European Parliament wants to see a far healthier Europe and Professor Alan White’s report clearly shows that men are at a far greater risk of becoming ill and dying earlier than they should - and that these deaths are preventable.
“Because we now know that most of these premature deaths and cases of morbidity are preventable, normally from quite simple changes to lifestyle, national governments and the European Parliament must now consider the best methods to improve the state of men’s health and ensure they find the funding to be introduced EU wide.”
Former Fulham player Simon Morgan explained how the Premier League, who sponsored the event in the European Parliament, have already been working in conjunction with Leeds Metropolitan University on a trial programme that involves 16 Premiership and Championship football clubs raising awareness of men’s health issues and offering classes and sessions with NHS health trainers in and nearby to local football stadiums.
Linda explained: “Improving men’s health will not just be good for the individuals themselves but their families, partners and friends will also benefit. When you consider the amount of strain healthcare systems across Europe are under, it is vital we find ways to improve men’s health so these preventable diseases and early deaths can be avoided. The Premier League Health initiative is just one new way we can get the message to men that a bit of exercise, a better diet or fewer drinks and cigarettes can make a massive difference to their health.“
• For more on the Premier League Health programme visit http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/creating-chances/2011-12/premier-league-health.html
• Professor Alan White’s full report on The State Of Men’s Health is also available online at http://ec.europa.eu/health/population_groups/docs/men_health_report_en.pdf