06 January 2012

Men are more concerned than women about their physical appearance, according to the results of a new study. Research commissioned by Central YMCA and The Succeed Foundation, found that four out of five men are unhappy with their body, compared to 75 per cent of women. "Beer bellies", going bald, a lack of muscles and "man boobs", were all put forward as concerns.Dr Phillippa Diedrichs, from the centre of appearance research at the University of the West of England, which conducted the study of just under 400 men, said: "These findings tell us that men are concerned about body image, just like women. We knew that 'body talk' affected women and young people and now we know that it affects men too." According to the study, 30 per cent of the men surveyed said they had heard people talking about their "beer belly", while 19 per cent had overheard comments about their "man boobs". However, almost a quarter (23 per cent) of the men who took part said their appearance had put them off going to the gym. An increasing number of men are turning to cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance. Figures from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show the number of men undergoing treatments such as chemical peels and laser hair removal has increase by 45 per cent since 2000.