(RxWiki News) It's time for Father's Day, when dads around the world are celebrated for their contributions to their families. This year a physician is encouraging dads to use this special day get on a fast- track to better health.
Dr. Griffin Rodgers, an institute director of the National Institutes of Health, in a public service announcement (PSA) is encouraging fathers to make small changes in their eating and exercise habits this Father's Day.
According to the PSA, even modest weight loss of between 5 to 7 percent of body weight, only 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound man, could produce tremendous health benefits.
"Start with small lifestyle changes to maximize your health."
By taking better care of their own health, dads can set examples for their family members to follow by making their own health a priority. Fathers often do things for others but do little for themselves.
Much like the rest of the population, many men are dealing with obesity. About 32 percent of men are considered obese, putting them at risk for a variety of health problems including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancers.
Dr. Rodgers said that becoming more active and eating better are two important ways dads can improve their health. He also suggests they improve their physical and mental health by getting plenty of sleep, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption, which can be a major source of hidden calories. A two ounce shot of liquor contains about 125 calories.
He said small lifestyle changes to get active such as adding a brisk walk after dinner or playing basketball with co-workers would be beneficial. Dads should start out with a doable level of activity and slowly increase the frequency and the intensity of the exercise.
Dr. Rodgers also urges smaller portions to help control weight. Fathers should make sure half of their plates contain fruits and vegetables, while a fourth contains whole grains, and the last fourth is comprised of protein, such as lean meat, poultry, or fish, or dried beans.