The “cult of celebrity,” social media, and antiquated machismo ideals have men across the pond embarrassed to admit they are dieting. In a study conducted by the UK’s Canadean Custom Solutions (CCS), researchers found that one third of British males were on a diet—nearly 10 million. Out of that large swath, CCS found only 21 percent of the dieting men felt confident buying weight loss products at grocery and health stores. The feeling of shame was bloody-well present in the 18-24 demographic, where 67 percent of young men felt emasculated while dieting.
Young Brits have good reason to diet—17 percent of them are obese. But the manner in which weight loss products are being branded doesn’t speak to young men. Michael Hughes, Research Manager at CCS, said, “The dieting market is predominantly associated with females because of the way in which products are positioned and the celebrities used to endorse products, brands and dieting regimes.” He claims that if pro athletes were used to market diet products, males would be more likely to purchase them, as that strategy has worked to encourage guys in the UK to get regular health screenings.