Men want a body like Beckham

Nutrition & Food Science

ISSN: 0034-6659

Article publication date: 19 July 2011



(2011), "Men want a body like Beckham", Nutrition & Food Science, Vol. 41 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Men want a body like Beckham

Article Type: Food facts From: Nutrition & Food Science, Volume 41, Issue 4

A survey for NHS Choices shows that while most men want a body like Beckham their actual shape is well-rounded. Women preferred a shapely body like Beyonce and many of those surveyed matched this body type. Asked what female celebrity has a body shape they want from a list that included Kate Moss, Keira Knightly and Queen Latifa, the top three chosen by women were: Beyonce (24 per cent), Jennifer Lopez (24 per cent) and Nigella Lawson (22 per cent). With just 0.65 per cent of the vote, Beth Ditto had the least desired female body shape.

Men were asked what male celebrity body shape they would like, and from a list that included Ricky Gervais, James Cordon and Peter Crouch, most chose David Beckham (50 per cent) and Will Smith (30 per cent). With just six per cent of the vote, Russell Brand had the least desired male body shape.

Most of the women surveyed had a healthy hourglass shape (41 per cent) or were pear shaped (41 per cent). Although just 14 per cent of women said they were apple shaped – the least healthy body shape, most (80 per cent) have tried to lose weight and 64 per cent are not happy with their body. Only 36 per cent of men said they had tried to lose weight. And most (58 per cent) of the men were happy with their body even though 42 per cent had an unhealthy “well rounded” body shape.

The biggest motivator for men (36 per cent) and women (43 per cent) to lose weight was to be healthier. Other reasons men lost weight were to be fit (26 per cent), to be more attractive (17 per cent) and to have more confidence (15 per cent). In equal measure, women lost weight to be more attractive (33 per cent), to be fit (33 per cent) and to feel more confident (33 per cent).

If you want to lose weight, and keep your weight down, crash diets are not the answer. It is really about making small changes to your lifestyle, like swapping unhealthy snacks for healthy ones, taking up an exercise routine that you can stick to and cutting down on alcohol, which is full of additional calories. Making a start on changing your lifestyle can be the hardest part, which is why the free tools available on NHS Choices, like the alcohol tracker, snack swapper and couch to 5K running plan, are so helpful in easing you into a healthier standard of living.

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