5 Tips for Healthy Living from FDA’s Office of Minority Health

This Men’s Health Month, take time to consider your current health habits and where you can make improvements. The FDA’s Office of Minority Health is committed to eliminating health disparities and achieving the highest standard of health for all. Below are five tips to help you and your loved ones live a healthier life.

  1. Get Regular Check Ups
    As you age, regular screenings and doctors’ visits are instrumental in maintaining good health. Many diseases and conditions are treatable with early detection and treatment. For example, 90% of colorectal cancer cases occur in adults age 50 and older. The disease has a high mortality rate in some ethnic groups due to late screening and diagnosis. You can learn more about screening options in our Consumer Update “Colorectal Cancer: What You Should Know”.

  2. Maintain Good Heart Health
    Heart disease accounts for 1 in every 4 male deaths and is the leading cause of death for men of most racial/ethnic groups in the United States (US). Adopting heart healthy behaviors, like regular physical activity and managing your chronic conditions (for example, hypertension), can help you ward off heart disease.  For starters, have your blood pressure checked regularly and talk to your doctor about medication therapy, if appropriate. You can read more about minorities and heart disease on our webpage.

  3. Be Cautious of Fraudulent Health Products
    Do you take a “natural remedy” or “miracle cure” product? Think twice before taking these products as they have not been proven safe or effective, and could harm you. Health fraud scams oftentimes prey on men by offering products to improve bodybuilding and sexual enhancement. But beware and learn more from about the hazards of tainted dietary supplements from FDA’s health fraud campaign.

  4. Maintain a Healthy Diet
    Eating well balanced meals every day is critical to maintaining good health. Unfortunately, many Americans consume too much sodium- most of which is found in pre-packaged and restaurant foods. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for developing heart disease. FDA recently finalized the new Nutrition Facts Label for packaged foods to include information about the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The new label will make it easier to make better informed food choices.

  5. Stay Tobacco Free
    Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the U.S. In 2014, 26% of men used tobacco products every day or some days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We have materials to help you understand how smoking affects your health and strategies to help you quit. There are different FDA-approved products, such as skin patches or chewing gum, available to help you quit smoking. Talk to your doctor about which one is right for you.

For more information on healthy living, health disparities, and minority health issues, visit the FDA Office of Minority Health webpage and follow us on Twitter @FDAOMH .

Shakia Baskerville

View posts by Shakia Baskerville
Shakia Baskerville, MPH, is a Public Affairs Specialist in FDA’s Office of Minority Health
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