A surprising survey has revealed that men are more concerned about their body image than women, as a third of men admit they would sacrifice a year of their life in exchanged for a toned body.
The survey, commissioned by Central YMCA and eating disorders charity the Succeed Foundation, questioned 384 men across the UK.
23% of men said concerns about their appearance had deterred them from going to the gym
It revealed that more than four in five men (80.7%) talk in ways that promote anxiety about their body image by referring to perceived flaws and imperfections, compared with 75% of women.
Commonly used phrases about how other men look include ‘beer belly’, ‘man boobs’ and ‘chubby’, as well as ‘six pack’ and ‘ripped’. 59 per cent of the men who discuss body shapes admitted that it makes them feel bad about themselves.
18 per cent said they felt fat every day, and a similar number feel afraid of gaining weight on a daily basis. Astonishingly, 35 per cent said they would surrender a year of their life to achieve their desired body shape.
'Beer bellies' were the biggest concern for the men, followed by lack of muscles in arms and the chest. 4 per cent of men said they had made themselves sick to control their weight, and 3.4 per cent said they had used laxatives.
Dr Phillippa Diedrichs of the University of the West of England Bristol, who led the study, said: “This research really demonstrates that body image is an issue for everyone, and that we need to take a collaborative approach towards promoting an environment that values diversity in appearance and promotes healthy body image."
Karine Berthou, founder of the Succeed Foundation, added: "This sort of disordered eating and exercise behaviour is deeply concerning and highlights that men must be included in eating disorder and body image programmes. Succeed is committed to providing such programmes for everyone.”
Certain private medical insurance policies will reward customers for living a healthy lifestyle. PruHealth’s Vitality scheme offers discounts with health partners as well as tools to help you monitor your health.
With the scheme, you can improve your Vitality status by eating healthily, not smoking and exercising regularly. PruHealth with then reward you with some of your premium back in cash. Compare health insurance online now for a great incentive to get healthy this year.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012