80% of men feel pressured to improve physique – study

© Fatih Saribas
British men feel under increasing pressure to attain the perfect body, a new survey has found, with over 80 percent feeling more stressed about maintaining their bodies than they did five years ago.

The research, compiled for Alpha Man magazine, found that men are under growing pressure to sculpt an impressive physique.

Some 82 percent “feel more stressed about not having an impressive physique than they did five years ago,” while 69 percent said they would give up alcohol forever in return for the perfect body. 

The survey, which involved 1,200 men, also found 30 percent would be happy to take a whole year off their lives if they could have a desirable physique.

Only four percent of respondents said they were happy with their bodies. 

‘Beer bellies’ were at the top of the list of body parts men said they disliked, with 50 percent saying they were unhappy with their gut.

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This was followed by chest and legs, which 14 and 10 percent respectively said they were unhappy with.

“It’s clear that more men than ever feel under intense pressure to have a better body,” said Alpha Man magazine’s editorial director Joe Warner.

“Our survey revealed that nearly 85 percent of men have been on a diet and many have even resorted to skipping meals in a bid to trim down, or worn compression underwear because they feel so self-conscious.”

The results follow a worrying trend of pressure placed on men to achieve the perfect physique.

In August, it was reported that protein shakes and other dietary supplements intended to be used in conjunction with exercise were leading to an rise in eating disorders among young men. 

In order to gain a perfect body, young men who lift weights or train at the gym are using supplements to take the place of meals, leading to an overall detriment in health. 

A survey of 195 gym goers published earlier in August found that one in five had replaced a meal with a dietary supplement. Some eight percent had been told to use less supplements and three percent had been hospitalized because of kidney or liver problems caused by over-use of supplements. 

Dr Richard Achiro blamed the rise on the prevalence of men with ‘perfect’ bodies in the media.

“Using these supplements excessively is about more than the body,” he said. Men confronted with celebrities with toned abs were made more insecure and were tempted to abuse supplements.