Give your Dad the gift of health this Father's Day

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Men's health experts from the University of Adelaide are urging family members to consider giving Dad a meaningful – and potentially life-saving – "gift of health" this Father's Day.

Professor Gary Wittert, Director of the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men's Health at the University, says that given the many issues facing men's health in our nation, a health-related gift could have lasting benefits for Dad and for the whole family.

"Australians currently spend over $750 million each year on Father’s Day gifts. Gifts that more often than not end up languishing in the bottom of a drawer or expiring before use," Professor Wittert says.

"Australian men, on average, have poorer health and die sooner than women. They are more likely to be overweight or obese, have type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and less likely to receive help for depression and anxiety."

Research from the Freemasons Foundation Centre for Men’s Health is unravelling the links between a range of men's health problems, in particular: obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, depression, obstructive sleep apnoea, low testosterone, getting up at night to pass urine, sexual dysfunction, and prostate cancer.

"Our work at the Centre has shown that just a 5-10% weight loss leads to significant improvements in, or prevents the occurrence of, these disorders," Professor Wittert says.

"Perhaps even more important is eating a diet that contains the right balance of nutrients, having a routine of regular aerobic and resistance activity, a good night’s sleep, moderating alcohol intake, and stopping smoking.

"So this Father’s Day, think about giving Dad the Gift of Health," he says.

Professor Wittert's advice:

• Cook healthy meals together, and give a cookbook that explains how
• Give a health monitoring device (e.g. Fitbit) and encourage everyone in the family to compete for who has the most steps each week
• Commit to spending family time on the weekends in the park, riding bikes and going for a walk, a swim, or ride with Dad each evening
Make a donation to men’s health research in Dad's name.

For more information about research into men's health, visit:


Contact Details

Professor Gary Wittert
Head of Discipline of Medicine, Medical Specialties
The University of Adelaide
Mobile: 0409 411 789

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762