An unhealthy disregard for men's health

Sadly, the editor of Loaded’s attitude to health stories (“Loaded rejects ‘boring’ health stories”, 5 August) is an all-too accurate reflection of a wider view within the market sector.

When
Peter Baker was health editor of Maxim in the mid-1990s, the magazine
regularly featured up to eight pages devoted to health. Now the total
coverage in all the so-called “lads mags” put together would come in at
considerably less than that. The quality of the coverage has plummeted
with the quantity.

Two out of three UK men are overweight, two
out of five drink too much and overall we’re far more likely to kill
ourselves or have a fatal accident than women. One of the reasons why
men’s health is so bad is down to our lack of awareness of the health
risks we’re running, an ignorance magazines such as Loaded seem only
too keen to indulge.

More worryingly, the role of these magazines is not a neutral one.

Recent
research from the US shows that teenagers who read such magazines are
twice as likely as those who do not read them to risk their health by
taking muscle-enhancing products, the safety of which in many cases is
questionable.

Clearly, these magazines can damage your body image
and perhaps your health. The least their editors could do to remedy
this would be to run some practical health information.

Fortunately,
men do have an alternative. Websites such as the Men’s Health Forum’s
site, malehealth.co.uk, can offer a depth of coverage that not even the
bestintentioned of magazines can match.

And the advice is free, completely confidential and available to order – all of which are attractive to men.

Peter Baker, director, MHF Jim Pollard editor, malehealth.co.uk

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