Most men unhappy with level of muscularity

Jan. 7, 2012 at 11:07 PM
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BRISTOL, England, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Most men in Britain say they are unhappy about how muscular their arms and chests are, but a beer belly is their biggest body issue, researchers say.

A collaboration of experts at the Center for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England in Bristol, the Succeed Foundation and Central YMCA, also found more than 35 percent of men would sacrifice a year of life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape.

Almost 63 percent of the men said they were unhappy with the muscularity of their arms or chests, and this desire for more muscle mass may explain why 18 percent of men said they were on a high protein diet and 32 percent used protein supplements.

More than 80 percent of the men said they regularly engage in conversation about one another's body -- "body talk" -- and what they talk about the most is their fear of a beer belly.

Body talk refers to conversation in which men reinforce and buy into the unrealistic male body image that emphasizes leanness and muscularity by commenting on, and comparing their appearance to, this "beauty ideal," the researchers said.

Fifty-nine percent said body talk affects them personally, mostly in a negative way. Men revealed that body talk affected their self-esteem, made them more self-conscious and, in some cases, discouraged them from going to the gym.

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