By Lisa Washington-Thomas, Branch Chief, Self-Sufficiency Branch, Office of Family Assistance
Did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States, killing 307,225 men in 2009—that’s 1 in every 4 male deaths?1
The National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse (NRFC) is sponsoring another Fatherhood Buzz Outreach but this time the focus is Men’s Health. Fathers who model a healthy lifestyle can not only reduce their risk of heart disease but also can have a powerful and positive impact on the development and health of their children. In fact, children who have actively engaged fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior.
The Fatherhood Buzz events will encourage fathers to be healthy, and to treat their health as part of their commitment to being a responsible father. The Office of Family Assistance’s NRFC has partnered with 50 community agencies and approximately 135 barbershops in 24 States and the District of Columbia to provide fathers with key tips, information and strategies that focus on men’s health and encourage fathers to “Take Time to be a Healthy Dad Today.”
On the weekend of Nov. 15-16, each barbershop is expected to distribute Fatherhood Buzz tip cards but many are going over and beyond. Three barbershops in Brooklyn, N.Y., are partnering with community health centers to distribute men’s health information and offer health screenings. PB&J Family Services/Fathers Building Futures, an OFA fatherhood reentry grantee will distribute information on men's health and tattoo removal, and provide free popcorn and moon bounce for the kids.
The Fatherhood Buzz is a public awareness campaign that continues the dialogue about the importance of fathers. This weekend, the Buzz will emphasize the need for men to concentrate on their health so that they can care for their children. For more information, please go to http://fatherhood.gov/fatherhood-buzz/stay-connected.
Healthy Dads’ Tip
1. Children who have actively engaged fathers are more likely to have good physical and emotional health, to achieve academically, and to avoid drugs, violence, and delinquent behavior.
2. Many health risks that men face can be prevented and treated with early diagnosis and by living a healthy lifestyle.
3. If you don’t have insurance, go to Heathcare.gov or call 1-800-318-2596 to sign up to receive access to health care and preventive services that can lead to a lifetime of quality time with your family.
1. Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Miniño AM, Kung HC. Deaths: final data for 2009 [PDF-2M]. National vital statistics reports. 2011;60(3).
The Office of Family Assistance administers several key federal grant programs, including the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Tribal programs, Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood, and Health Profession Opportunity Grants. Our programs foster economically secure households and communities for the well-being and long-term success of children and families.