Rise of the Man-Diet

Men are becoming increasingly worried about their body image and piling on the pounds, with more British men dieting and starting fitness regimes to get in shape and get rid of their beer bellies.

Research by PruHealth to mark Men’s Health Week reveals more than half of British men started a diet or fitness regime in January 2008 alone.

One in ten wanted to get in shape before a holiday so they could ‘flex on the beach’, but an encouraging two out of every five embarked on a new diet and fitness regime simply to get healthier. More than half started a health kick last year – and almost a quarter are still on that kick to this day.

While traditionally women are thought to be more committed to dieting and grooming, a quarter of men now admit to regularly using anti-wrinkle cream or moisturiser, and a fifth went on a diet or started getting fit specifically for a special occasion or when starting a new job.

However, sticking to a regime isn’t always easy - one in ten admitted staying off the beers was hardest to do, despite the fact that this means their wallets are slimming down while their weight goes up.

Over a third find it hard to resist sweets and foods with a high-calorie intake – not surprising when just under half admit to regularly snacking on crisps at work or on the way there.

Shaun Matisonn, chief executive of PruHealth, says: “It is encouraging to see a rise in the amount of men committing to getting fit and healthy. Obesity is on the rise among adults and children, so it is becoming increasingly important to make the effort to stay in shape. There may be temptations along the way, but there are easy ways to incorporate a little more exercise into your daily routine, such as getting off the tube or bus a stop earlier and walking, or cutting down on unhealthy snacks, which can also help save a bit of money.”

PruHealth has linked up with top gyms - Cannons, LA Fitness and Virgin Active - and members can also benefit from PruHealth’s partnership with Sainsbury’s by earning Vitality points when they buy fresh fruit and vegetables from the supermarket. PruHealth policyholders can also buy ‘Fitbug’ pedometers at a discounted rate, so members can log their daily steps that count towards boosting their Vitality points.

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