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12.01.2016 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 4/2016

Journal of Community Health 4/2016

Dieting Habits of Men

Journal of Community Health > Ausgabe 4/2016
Virginia L. Vining, Nancy Cotugna, Chengshun Fang, O. Sue Snider


There is little research involving the US male population regarding weight control and behavior that may affect weight status. Gender-specific weight-control programs for men aren’t the standard. Our study objectives were to survey dieting and health habits of an adult male employee population and to determine if the population would be interested in gender-specific programming. Demographics, weight-control practices and interest in gender-specific weight-control programs were examined cross sectionally. A 50-question web-based survey was posted via email from October 2–30, 2014 to male employees at a Mid-Atlantic university. Statistical analyses included frequencies, means and percentages. Chi square and t tests were conducted. The 254 participants were ages 18–65+ years, predominantly white, college educated with annual incomes above $50,000. Sources of nutrition knowledge ranged from a high of web sites (65 %) to a low of registered dietitians (9 %). Macronutrient restrictions reported for dieting were carbohydrates 77 %, fats 40 % and protein 19 %. The >30 age group was more likely to have: decreased amount of food intake P = .001), reducing overall calories (P = .047), skipping meals (P = .006) or trying commercial programs (P = .011). There was nothing of significance for those <30. Among all respondents, interest in gender-specific programs was compared with these variables: current weight satisfaction (P = .032), education (P = .008), income (P = . 006) and BMI (P = .004). Men who were dissatisfied with their weight were most likely to be interested in a gender-specific weight control program, especially those over age 30 years. Further research should address whether offering male-specific diet programs would offer incentive and motivation for males to lose and maintain weight loss.

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