Government of Canada invests in initiative that engages men to improve health and wellness

Don't Change Much encourages small lifestyle changes to achieve long-term benefits

OTTAWA, June 12, 2017 /CNW/ - Canadian men aren't as healthy as they could be, in part due to lifestyle choices. But the good news is they don't have to change much to improve their physical health and wellness.

Today, the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, announced funding for the Canadian Men's Health Foundation (CMHF) to expand Don't Change Much, a national initiative to help Canadian men make simple lifestyle changes that can result in long-term benefits for individuals, families and communities.

In 2016, the Public Health Agency of Canada invested $519,000 over three years to support the delivery of an online, accessible and engaging healthy lifestyle program to "nudge" men to make simple changes to their diet and sleep habits, alcohol and tobacco consumption, and physical activity. A further $4 million was committed in Budget 2016 and is now being invested to expand Don't Change Much. This will help reach and encourage more men to make and sustain healthier lifestyle choices, and enable the CMHF to test innovative ways to engage men and provide incentives to achieve lifestyle goals.

In addition to providing health information and tips that are easy to integrate into their lives, Don't Change Much encourages men to take its You Check quiz and get a snapshot of their current and future health.

"I encourage all Canadian men to take the time to learn about their health and to adopt changes that can lead to higher quality of physical health and mental well-being over the course of their lifetime." 
The Honourable Jane Philpott
Minister of Health

"CMHF envisions a country where men are acutely aware of their health risks and Canadian society values men as the final piece of the family health puzzle. We can prevent up to 70 per cent of men's chronic health problems without adding another dollar, doctor or hospital to the health care system through health initiatives directed at men."
Dr. Larry Goldenberg,
Founder, Canadian Men's Health Foundation

"The results from our Don't Change Much lifestyle initiative show that Canadian men and their families are more motivated when armed with health information and lifestyle programs and support. Our campaign is enabling men to hear, absorb and act on the idea that small lifestyle changes can have significant, long-term health benefits."
Wayne Hartrick
President, Canadian Men's Health Foundation

Key facts:

  • Among Canadian men, 29% are obese; 68% don't eat healthy food; and 35% don't get enough sleep.
  • The proportion of men over 20 affected by some chronic diseases is higher than women. For example, diabetes is higher among men (10.5%) than women (9.1%), and more men (9.8%) experience heart disease than women (7.1%).
  • More men (21.1%) than women (14.8%) are daily or occasional smokers of tobacco.
  • More men (18.8%) than women (12.7%) reported exceeding the low-risk alcohol drinking guidelines. The difference is even greater for heavy drinking in men (22.6%) compared to women (13.3%).
  • More men (45%) than women (42%) are expected to develop cancer in their lifetimes; and 1 in 4 Canadians (29% of men and 24% of women) is expected to die from cancer.
  • Men account for 75% of all deaths by suicide, with middle-aged men (45-54) and older men (85‑89) having the highest overall suicide rates.

Associated Links
Canadian Men's Health Foundation
Don't Change Much
You Check Health Tool
Vision for a healthy Canada


SOURCE Public Health Agency of Canada

For further information: Contacts: Andrew MacKendrick, Office of Jane Philpott, Minister of Health, 613-957-0200; Media Relations, Public Health Agency of Canada, 613-957-2983

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