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Men's Health Week 2005

The forth NMHW took place from 13-19 June 2005. This page provides links to all the many useful resources produced for the Week. The theme for 2005 was men and weight.

PLEASE NOTE: These are historical documents from 2005, for information on our latest plans relating to NMHW2006, please click HERE.

Q uick links:

Your organisation can still sign up to the Three Quarters Is Too Many consensus statement by clicking on the link below:

Three Quarters Is Too Many

NMHW 2005 broadly followed the same model as previous Weeks. The key objective was to increase men's awareness of weight and obesity issues. Men were encouraged and enabled to take action to prevent weight gain and, if appropriate, to lose weight. NMHW2005 also highlighted the changes needed in health and related policy and practice.

Weight/obesity was selected as the focus for NMHW because it was recognised to be a major public health problem. In 2001, according to official statistics, the proportion of men in <?xml:namespace prefix = u2 /><?xml:namespace prefix = u4 />England classified as overweight (BMI 25-30) was 47% and the proportion who were obese (BMI 30+) was 21%. Men are much more likely than women to have a BMI of 25+.

Being overweight or obese poses serious dangers to men's health, in particular increasing the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. An analysis of over 3,450 Framingham Heart Study participants over a 42-year period concluded that the decreases in life expectancy due to being overweight or obese are similar to those caused by smoking. (A. Peeters, et al., 'Obesity in adulthood and its consequences for life expectancy: a life-table analysis', Ann Intern Med. 2003 Jan 7;138(1):24-32.)

To date, little work has been done to address the problem of male overweight and obesity. Most advice is aimed at women, especially when it is provided via the media (e.g. women's magazines) or commercial organisations such as WeightWatchers. There is also evidence from the pharmaceutical industry that men are less likely to be prescribed drugs that can assist weight loss. Even though many men wish to lose weight, they often lack the knowledge and confidence to do so on a self-help basis. Unless this issue is addressed, men will increasingly be at risk of weight-related health problems.

During NMHW, local organisations were also encouraged and enabled to run events on men and weight/obesity.


The MHF produced a policy report highlighting the key issues at a national level called Hazardous Waist. The document can be downloaded in full by clicking on the link below:

Hazardous Waist? Tackling the epidemic of excess weight in men


The Haynes' HGV Man manual


As in previous weeks the MHF also created resources that can be used on a long-term basis. Central to this approach was the production of a men and weight manual ('HGV Man') in the Haynes' car manual format. The book is the definitive guide to men and weight/obesity — with comprehensive content and a design well-suited to a male readership.

The main target audience for the book is men of all ages who are interested in becoming more aware of weight issues, finding out how to reduce the risks of weight gain or understanding more (and becoming more empowered) about losing weight. Health professionals can also use the book as a health promotion and education resource.

The Haynes' format was chosen because it is 'male-friendly': many men are used to using information presented in this way; the 'body as machine' metaphor resonates with the way men tend to think about health issues; and, of course, the concept introduces an element of humour (which helps to break down men's 'internal barriers' to accessing health information and advice).

The manual was produced in close and unique collaboration with a diverse group of 31 organisations:


National Obesity Forum

The manual is now currently available in all good book shops, directly from Haynes themselves: and in bulk at discounted rates from the Men's Health Forum. For more information and details on how to order copies, please click on the link below:

HGV Man Manual


The Hazardous Waist? Conference - New Approaches to Tackling Male Weight Problems

During NMHW2005 we are also ran a pioneering national conference on men and obesity at the Savoy Place Conference Centre, right on the Thames in London on 13 June.

It was the first conference to focus on why men have weight problems, how common these are, the problems they cause, and why a male-specific approach will make a major contribution to tackling the public health problem of obesity. The conference was sponsored by the Department of Health.

For more information on the conference, please click on the link below:

The Hazardous Waist? Conference

Page created on August 19th, 2004

Page updated on December 1st, 2009