Monday, July 19, 2010

Join the MHF/malehealth advisory panel

The MHF is looking to recruit a men's advisory panel to give men a louder voice when it comes to their health. This sounds like a great idea to me.

The panel will be asking men what they want from the NHS and the MHF. This includes the content on malehealth so the website itself will benefit too. I'd really like the panel to reflect as wide a cross-section of blokes as possible - all ages, classes, backgrounds and opinions. No special requirements whatsoever other than an X chromosome. Why not give it a go?

• Meanwhile thanks for the kind comments on the commendation of my book The User's Guide to The Male Body in the Medical Journalist's Association's book awards. The book has now also been highly commended in the British Medical Association's book awards. I went to the journalists' do earlier this year and the BMA one will be in September. It's the perfect opportunity to conduct some serious research: who really provides the best plonk? The hacks or the docs?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Smokers tilting at windmills

There is an army of Don Quixotes out there who, when they aren't nipping out for a quick fag, are hunting through cyberspace for signs of anti-smoking giants. Whenever we write about smoking - or more particularly smoking bans - the comments and the emails arrive. It happened a couple of years ago when they found an article I'd written a few years previously that mentioned, alongside the great Joe Jackson among other things, passive smoking.

It's happened again. This time the offending article is one reporting on a poll conducted by You Gov suggesting that most smokers now support the smoking ban. The poll was commissioned by anti-smoking organisation Ash and our story makes this very clear. I actually nearly didn't publish it all because frankly I don't think it's really new. We know that most smokers want to quit and most smokers I know tell me that the public places ban has reduced their consumption. Where's the story?

I honestly think that this ship has sailed, boys. Tilting at windmills just means the smoke blows in your face. And even big tobacco know that. If you want to read some articles on malehealth, and I'm delighted you do, there are far more interesting ones than this tired old tale. Start with this one: it answers the question we all want to know the answer to: how many more years will I live if I make healthier choices?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Malehealth now on facebook

John Pritchard, our great volunteer, has taken malehealth into the exciting world of social networks. We now have a page on facebook. Apparently people have friends but pages have people who like them so please visit the page and say you like it. Even if you love it.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

EU investigating till receipts scandal

Well, not quite. But further to yesterday's post about the men's health risks associated with till receipts - MHF president Ian Banks reckons they're fine so long as you eat them with low-fat dressing - there is activity at European level to reduce our exposure to BPA.

Following an 'urgent request' from the European Commission, the European Food Safety Authority is reviewing the compound, which is used in plastics and appears to interfere with hormones, and will provide an 'up-to-date overview of the safety of BPA'.

An open letter from various scientists and international health organisations and NGOs including the Health and Environment Alliance is calling for a reduction in the EU's Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI). The letter says that 'only a tiny minority of studies have articulated that BPA exposure is safe… but it is these few flawed studies that EFSA previously relied on to declare BPA safe.'

A reduced TDI could lead to a reduction in or elimination of the amount of BPA in food contact materials, such as baby bottles, drinking water bottles and the lining of tins containing food and drink. No mention, yet, of till receipts.