Gender Politics @ MENZ Issues

By: Menz  06-Dec-2011

The award winning public health programme ‘Appetite for Life’ Course is in its sixth year and expects to provide for 1,000 patients this year. It is a clinician referred programme for patient’s with lifestyle related behaviours affecting their health. Think diet, weight loss, heart disease, alcohol, depression. Issues that transcend all races and genders. Then think how many women have been provided with this programme that costs only $25. The answer is over 1,000 this year alone. Then think how many men have been provided with this programme since it began six years ago and who will be provided with it this year. The answer is zero. That’s right, if you are a man you are excluded from this women’s only publicly funded diet control course.

A Christchurch man says the Canterbury District Health Board’s (CDHB) refusal to allow men access this health course is discriminatory.

Don Rowlands, 62, complained to the Human Rights Commission after he was not allowed to use the Appetite for Life programme, which aims to improve lifestyle and eating habits.

Rowlands was diagnosed with dangerously high blood pressure last year and was told he needed to lose weight.

His doctor recommended he complete the Appetite for Life course, which is run by the board.”A letter came back telling me I wasn’t accepted because men weren’t eligible. They suggested I pay for a dietitian.”

The Appetite for Life course had not been tested with men and adapting it for them would require big changes, says CDHB planning and funding general manager Carolyn Gullery (whom I’m taking a shot in the dark here and guessing just might be a woman!)


You can contact Appetite for Life at

Gerry H for GerryMen

The information in this article was current at 02 Dec 2011

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