"A Pint of Breast Please"

Men fear too much drink will give them man boobs

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The fear of man boobs, expanding waistlines and performing poorly in the bedroom are just three factors making men cut down the amount they drink each week, according to a new survey.

Published by the Department of Health as part of its Know Your Limits campaign, the survey of almost 1,000 male drinkers aged over 18 in England showed that one in six men (17%) were worried their drinking would lead to man boobs. One in four (27%) were worried about getting a beer belly and more than one in eight (13%) thought their boozing was affecting their appearance. Nearly one in ten (9%) worried that excessive drinking was affecting their sexual performance.

Dagmar Zeumer, NHS Hammersmith and Fulham director of public health, said: “It’s great the message is getting across to men, but they should still remember that only a few extra beers during the week can push them over the recommended limits of between three and four units each day.

“Not only can drinking to excess affect your looks and performance, but it can also give you longer-term health problems that can often only be detected once the damage is done.”

While a high proportion of men (73%) were aware of the increased risk of liver disease associated with drinking above the recommended limits, 83% didn't know about the link with mouth cancer, 84% were equally unaware of the risk of throat cancer, and two-thirds (66%) were blind to the increased risk of stroke.

When told about these risks, more than a quarter (28%) said it made them keener to cut down. Dr Dagmar added: “By keeping track of your weekly units you can stop your looks deteriorating and prevent serious health problems including liver and heart disease, cancer or reduced fertility. Sticking to the recommended daily unit guidelines, taking 48 hours off after a heavy session and doing regular exercise will also help men keep the beer belly - and major illnesses - at bay."

The survey showed that more than one in three men (37%) said they would reduce their drinking to cut down on the number of calories they consumed. Only money-saving (as noted by 44%) was a bigger incentive.

June 23, 2009