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Men choose internet diets

In the past six months, leading UK supermarket giant, Tesco, has seen a 200 per cent increase in the number of men signing up to its online diet service

In the past six months, leading UK supermarket giant, Tesco, has seen a 200 per cent increase in the number of men signing up to its online diet service. In response, the tescodiets.com site is launching a tailored version of its site specifically for men.

With the diet industry so targeted towards women, men have found it difficult to find a suitable way to lose weight, but two-thirds of men in the UK are clinically overweight, compared to just over half of women, according to the National Obesity Forum.

The problem of obesity is growing 50 per cent faster in men than in women, but surveys show that men are only about half as likely as women to make the effort to diet.

Catherine Ambrozewicz, head of tescodiets.com, says, "Losing weight is a very sensitive issue for many men. They have a completely different mindset, not least that they hate the word diet.

"There is a lot of peer pressure for men to be one of the guys and unfortunately it appears to be a less-than-manly activity to be seen to be dieting.

"Online, men can lose weight in private without having to endure the embarrassment of the weekly weigh-in."

The men's version of the site will use male-specific language and images. It will also offer 'man-friendly' meal plans, such as the Gi diet, specially modified to allow moderate amounts of alcohol and the occasional curry or fried meal. It will provide comprehensive weekly menus and shopping lists.

The reasons behind why women and men diet are often quite different. While women may want to look better in their clothes, many men want to diet for a health reason.

Catherine Ambrozewicz says: "Sixty-five per cent of our male subscribers are aged over 35 and many have had a wake-up call with regards to their health. The importance of health will be reflected in the new men-only website."

Dr David Haslam, chair of the National Obesity Forum, says: "We welcome the news that men are increasingly being offered appropriate help and structured support with regards to their weight and its impact on their health."

17th June 2009

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