NWPC Blog

The NWPC Experience: Nutrition Counseling for Men’s Health Care

Hey men: Are you eating right?

Research suggests you might not be. Studies have found most men eat twice the recommended amount of protein each day as well as two to three times their daily limit of solid fats and added sugars. Three out of four men don’t get enough magnesium, plus many are deficient in vitamins D and B12 as well as potassium and iodine. And in a nationwide survey on nutrition trends, fewer than 60 percent of men placed value on diet and nutrition and fewer than half said they’re doing all they can to achieve a balanced diet.

Part of the problem may be that men don’t receive enough information about their own dietary needs. One study found that men are far less likely than women to learn about nutrition from their families or from magazines and newspapers. They’re also less likely to pay attention to nutrition information when eating out.

“We need to be paying more attention to the educational needs of men and work toward raising their attitudes about the importance of the role of diet in health,” says the American Dietetic Association.

To improve the level of men’s health care, Portland nutritionist Jacqueline Abbott, DrPH, RD, LD, counsels Northwest Primary Care patients on how to balance their diets and improve their overall fitness levels through healthy eating habits.

Meeting men’s nutritional needs

Men are often an afterthought in nutrition education programming, according to Penn State’s Social Science Research Institute.

“This is partly due to the misconception that women almost exclusively run the kitchen (and) the misguided belief that men are not interested in their family’s diet,” said research professor Barbara Lohse, PhD, RD, LDN. But most American men and women share the food purchasing and preparation duties for their families, and many men say they’re responsible for feeding their children more than half the time.

With nutritional education services tailored specifically for men, as well as for the whole family, we aim to fill the gaps in men’s dietary knowledge and provide them with the information they need to feed their families well—including the nutritional values of foods and how healthy eating habits can prevent a variety of chronic diseases. Nutritional counseling can also help men and their families navigate the dietary restrictions related to:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • GERD
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Food allergies

It’s also an opportunity for men to ask their burning questions about nutrition, such as: “What are a few of the best foods to buy on a budget?” “What is a healthy weight for my daughter?” “How much should my son really be eating?”

Boosting men’s health

Our nutritional counseling program is just one part of our holistic approach to men’s health care. Portland patients also receive access to a range of specialties, from cardiac care to sleep health, all with the goal of keeping men healthy by getting ahead of potential medical issues.

Research tells us men want to know more about their health and fitness—many simply don’t have access to information that’s tailored to them. Our goal is to not only provide excellent primary care but to give men the tools they need to take a more active role in managing their health care.

 

Photo by Amy Selleck via CC license