As International Men’s Health Week wraps up for the year, Team VIVA! takes a look at some of the ways Australians are raising awareness for men’s health and welfare issues, and how new research suggests more needs to be done to ensure the future health of Aussie men.

International Men’s Health Week, an initiative of the Australasian Men’s Health Forum (AMHF), kicked off on Monday, June 13, with a report by the Australian Institute of Welfare highlighting the current state of men’s health in Australia.

According to the report, only five per cent of adult males eat the recommended two fruits and five vegetables a day, while two-thirds of adult males are overweight or obese.

Australian men are also more likely to make fewer doctor visits than women, with only 40 per cent of men talking about health issues with a doctor.

In another recent study published in the prestigious journal Osteoporosis International, it was found that having brittle bones can shave 3.7 years from a man’s average life expectancy while strong bones can increase life expectancy by 1.7 years.

Watch the Channel 7 news report, “Brittle bones shorten life”:

So, are we doing enough to ensure the health of our Aussie men? Earlier in the week in an article in SMH, four men’s health specialists gave their thoughts on the health of Aussie men, and provided recommendations for improvements in health services and health attitudes by men. We can start by rethinking accessibility to health services for men in our society, by encouraging men to take responsibility for their own health, and taking health information services to locations where men gather, such as work and social venues.

Thanks to ongoing research in men’s health and innovative prevention and treatment strategies, we are finding new solutions for improving the health of Aussie men and all Australians.

The government’s listing of a novel bone protecting medication (Actonel EC) through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) this month represents an important advance in treating osteoporosis.

The availability of this innovative medication for osteoporosis provides another option to help reduce the rates of fracture and early death associated with this insidious disease, and helps to increase the overall health of Aussie men and women.