Beer vs belly 啤酒肚

A bodybuilder
Image caption Is this the answer to improving your body image?

Vocabulary: Bodies and physique 詞匯: 身體和體格

Are you concerned about your body image? These days, both women and men are surrounded by magazines and websites full of tips about dieting, exercise and fashion. Not to mention hairstyles! Gone are the days when all men had to think about was wearing a nice suit to be smart and handsome. Things have changed.

Now, a survey by the University of the West of England has suggested that 80% of men confess to being unhappy about their body. The biggest body issues for them were beer bellies and lack of muscles.

Some think this sudden vanity is due to the pressure or influence of role models we see on TV and in magazines. People end up with a perception of what the perfect body should look like. But not everybody wants to put in the effort to have perfect pecs and dazzling white teeth like Arnold Schwarzenegger.

An opportunistic entrepreneur has even invented a muscle-enhancing shirt to be worn under a man's clothes to make him look more of a hunk.

But Joe Warner, the former editor of Men's Fitness magazine in the UK, thinks the padded shirt is just a gimmick. He thinks many people in the country are obese, or overweight, and should accept they need to do more exercise.

Warner says: "I think it's a real shame people still want shortcuts when it doesn't take an awful lot of effort to get to the gym or go for a walk."

Exercise is always a good thing. But we mustn't forget that beauty is only skin deep. Character is more important than appearance.

So before I head off to the pub, it might be worth spending an hour at the gym. I'm not looking to get a six-pack, but looking healthier would certainly improve my confidence and self-esteem.

What about you: how much do you worry about your physique?