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Northern BC 'Man Challenge' - Get Fit, Be Healthy

By Michelle Cyr-Whiting

Saturday, January 14, 2012 09:47 AM

Two attendees at last night's Cougars' Game go through NH's screening process

Prince George, B.C. -  Northern Health is issuing a challenge to men living in Northern BC to get active and be informed about their health...and, so far, they seem to be responding well.  Of course, the men issued the first volley, saying, in effect 'come and get us', so that meant a NH information and screening booth at last night's Cougars' hockey game.

In 2010, NH's Chief Medical Health Officer at the time, Dr. David Bowering, issued a report entitled, 'Where Are The Men?', outlining a number of health concerns facing men living in the North.  They have shorter life expectancies and poorer health outcomes than women and men elsewhere in BC - with higher rates of cancer, suicides, and occupational deaths.

In light of that report, one of the health authority's new priorities is focusing on men's health.  At community consultations held throughout the region last spring, NH's newly-hired Men's Health Coordinator, Brandon Grant (at right), says, "We heard that men have a 'Work Hard/Play Hard' mentality, so that goes back to some of the health concerns that might be happening - taking more risks and everything else."  

"One of the things we learned from the report is that men aren't accessing health services at the same rate as men in other parts of the province, so they told us, 'go where we are'," says Grant.  "So we're doing 'point-of-care' screening at locations where men are: hockey games, health conferences, workplace settings.  We're looking to partner with companies, businesses, and not-for-profits."

Grant says the screenings provide men with a baseline of their blood pressure, blood-sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as a review of their risk factors for cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.  The staff on-hand can provide a referral to a doctor, if warranted.  In addition, the authority has just launched an interactive website called, the 'Northern BC Man Challenge', at that features active living information, health quizzes, stories and testimonials, as well as an interactive, 'Ask Dr. B' blog with Dr. Bowering, now the NW Medical Health Officer.

Grant says the screening and information booth was at this past week's natural resources forum and there are plans to set up at a variety of events across the health authority's region.  He adds,  "The guys are definitely stepping up and participating in the screening and learning more, so we're really pleased with that - the response has been fantastic.




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"...outlining a number of health concerns facing men living in the North. They have shorter life expectancies and poorer health outcomes than women and men elsewhere in BC - with higher rates of cancer, suicides, and occupational deaths."

The North has the highest cancer rates in the province. The North (being in Northern Health jurisdiction) makes up the last 3% in B.C. where the population is still being
subjected to intentional fluoridation of the tap water with sodium fluoride (hexafluorosilicic acid, an industrial waste product) and it is still being done happening in Prince Rupert, Terrace, Ft. St. John and Prince George.

The other remaining 97% of the province is fluoride addition free!

Medicating our tap water with this substance may very well be a large contributing factor in the greater incidence of cancer in the North! Applying an approach called the Precautionary Principle would result in an immediate discontinuation of this unnecessary and potentially harmful (some evidence already exists) practice!

Just turn off the injection systems, there is no *safe* level for this chemical which is additionally polluted with mercury, lead and arsenic.