Kettlebells for Martial Arts Training

Think that you can’t get a fresh, new type of workout from equipment that’s centuries old? Think again. The kettlebell isn’t just one of the best workout devices for MMA fighters, it’s also one of the trendiest exercises in gyms today. The best part about working out with kettlebells is that it gets the job [...]

Eating Disorders and Weak Bones: Not Just for Girls

boys can have anorexia and other eating disorders too

Dear Mr. Dad: As a child, my son used to be quite a bit overweight—his pediatrician said he was borderline obese. About a year ago, though, he started losing weight. He looked great and seemed happier with himself. But he kept on losing weight, long after he needed to. Thinking he might be ill, we took him to the doctor who couldn’t find any medial issues. After another few months, he was absolutely emaciated. His pediatrician did a bunch of tests but still couldn’t find anything wrong. The daughter of some good friends of ours had anorexia and was in a treatment facility for a while. I asked the doctor whether our son could possibly have an eating disorder but he said boys don’t get it. Is he right?

A: Might be time for a new pediatrician. Even though we think of eating disorders as affecting only girls, the fact is that about a third of the country’s 30-million people who suffer from one are male. Unfortunately, there are a number of issues that make it very difficult for these boys and young men to get the help they desperately need. First, most medical professionals—like your son’s pediatrician—don’t even consider it. Even mental health professionals, who really should know better, have a tough time acknowledging it. The American Psychiatric Association, for example, has a nice section on its website devoted to eating disorders, but if you look at the list of symptoms of anorexia, the first one is “Menstrual periods cease.” So, almost by definition, there’s no way a boy could possibly be anorexic. The second symptom—“Osteopenia or osteoporosis (thinning of the bones) through loss of calcium”—is yet another condition that’s generally considered to be a women’s condition.

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When it Comes to Puberty, Boys Are Catching Up to Girls (and That’s Not Necessarily Good News)

We’ve all (or at least those of us with daughters) heard about how girls growing up today are starting puberty younger than girls who came of age just a few generations ago. And we’ve all (whether we have boys or girls) heard about how boys are lagging behind girls in every measurable academic milestone, whether it’s grades, test scores, high-school graduation rates, college degrees, or professional degrees. But when it comes to puberty, it looks like boys may be closing the gap. And that may not be a good thing.

[Read more...]

This week on Talking About Men’s Health

Lots of informative, educational, and all-around excellent articles on men’s health this week

I wrote articles on birth control for men, the increased stroke risk in men whose parents divorced, and how antioxidants can improve men’s fertility .

We’ve also got posts by a lot of great contributors on the importance of wearing sunglasses, deciding on whether HGH is right for you, the body’s role in addiction, making informed decisions about surgery vs radiation for prostate cancer, and what insisting that boys sit quietly at their desks is a terrible idea.

Check out all these and more at Talking About Men’s Health.

And if you’re interested in contributing to the blog, let me know!

Sit at Your Desk and Do Your Work

Imagine if our educational system taught children an unhealthy habit.  If, for example, teachers all took a few minutes every day to coax students to puff on a cigarette, or to demand that they eat a just little more junk food?  What if the report card reprimanded a child for crossing the street too cautiously?

We would, I feel sure, want the school to change that policy right away. [Read more...]

This Might Hurt: American Academy of Pediatrics Will Change Its Policy on Circumcision

In what is will undoubtedly cause quite a stir, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) will change its policy on infant circumcision of boys, acknowledging that the health benefits of circumcision outweigh the risks. [Read more...]