List Image

Body Image: Men and Women Differ

Overcoming challenges as you begin to more actively manage your weight is expected, and one of the most important things to maintain along the way is a healthy body image. Unfortunately, gender can sometimes play a part in your success in having a healthy body image. While men and women tend to lose weight for similar reasons - looking for a significant lifestyle change or simply trying to drop a few pounds and improve self-esteem - you may find it interesting to know that men and women have very different perceptions of weight and body image.

It is common for both males and females to have concerns about their images, so it may be helpful to look at triggers of weight gain and attempts at weight loss in both men and women. Some very important facts about the two sexes were revealed by a study conducted by the University of Oxford regarding body shapes and experiences with weight change.

Here are some of the facts they found about body image and weight between men and women:

  • 87 percent of women admitted that they had tried to lose weight in the past, compared with 59 percent of men.
  • Of those that admitted to past weight loss attempts, only 59 percent of women found success with their weight management plan, compared with 47 percent of men.
  • Regardless of the sex, the majority of respondents agreed that one of the main reasons they chose to lose weight was for an upcoming event, such as a vacation or wedding.
  • Nearly all respondents associated obesity with heart disease, but few of the participants knew that being overweight could lead to diabetes and certain types of cancer.
  • Men associated beer drinking with weight gain as they got older, and women related more to emotion eating as the main contributor to being overweight.
  • As it turns out (not surprisingly), men and women have very different reactions and views when it comes to body image and weight loss, but the motivating factors and health risks remain the same, regardless of gender. Wherever you are in your weight loss journey, and whether you're male or female, having an honest yet positive body image is a great foundation for a healthy lifestyle.