Of the 384 British men studied for the survey, 35% of them said they would happily exchange a year of their life for the ideal body shape.
The survey showed that the biggest male body hang-up was muscularity, with 60% saying that they wished their arms, chests and stomach were more muscular.
This revelation goes some way to explaining why one in five men questioned was following a high protein diet, and almost one in three used a protein supplement.
Body image has traditionally been a female concern, with much controversy surrounding the portrayal of the female form in the media. With size 0 models setting an unachievable ideal for many young girls across the world, cases of depression and low-self esteem in recent years have soared. Now men are beginning to feel the pressure as they become increasingly preoccupied by their own body image issues.
Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, who led the study at UWE, said: “We need to take a collaborative approach to promoting an environment that values diversity in appearance and promotes healthy body image.”
Dr Diedrichs made it clear that whereas she does not promote obesity, trivialising male body issues could be just as unhealthy to society.
Negative body image is a major contributing factor to the rise in eating disorders. In light of the Dr Diedrichs’ study, there should now be more demand for support services helping men to overcome their body image issues.
If you are a man suffering with low self-esteem or an eating disorder, you may benefit from visiting a counsellor. A counsellor may be able to help you find the source of these issues and get you back on track towards reaching your goals.
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