London, Mar 29 : Men who read 'lads magazines' are being psychologically harmed by the images of perfect male physiques they contain, suggests a new study.
The study, which was led by Dr David Giles from University of Winchester, found that men, who read lads' magazines, were more influenced by the flawless body imagery and could suffer obsessive exercise to build muscular physique - a psychological condition that has been dubbed 'Athletica Nervosa'.
The research found that regular readers of such magazines were more likely to exercise to excess.
Along with colleague Jessica Close, Giles surveyed 161 men aged between 18 and 36, and found that those who regularly read the magazines were more likely to be influenced by the imagery within.
The volunteers said that they were more likely to consider using anabolic steroids to improve their appearance.
"The message in typical lads' magazines is that you need to develop a muscular physique in order to attract a quality mate. Readers internalise this message, which creates anxieties about their actual bodies and leads to increasingly desperate attempts to modify them," BBC quoted Giles, as saying.
Giles said: "Men and women increasingly get their ideas of what they should look like from the imagery they see in the media. The volume of content is growing and it is trapping young people in particular, into unhealthy obsessions about their own bodies."
The research also found that men who were single were far less likely to have body image problems than those in a relationship.
The study is published in Personality and Individual Differences.