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People's Daily Online>>China Society

More men go gym for fitness

By Wu Yiyao in Shanghai (China Daily)

16:12, March 26, 2012

Young men exercising on treadmills at an Impulse Total Fitness club in Weifang, Shandong province. In China, slimmer employees are favored in many industries while overweight workers might be labeled as lazy and not trustworthy. In the past it was mainly women who were obsessed with losing weight and shaping their figures but recently more men have also got in on the act. (China Daily Photo)

A growing desire by men for "six-pack" abdominal muscles is costing them time and money and expanding the market for the fitness and slimming industries in China.

Liang Zhongxin, a 27-year-old sales specialist at an electronic appliance supplier, paid 6,000 yuan ($952) for membership of a fitness club last month. He said it would be a most worthwhile investment if he successfully achieves his goal of weight loss.

For Liang, 6,000 yuan is no small sum - his monthly income is around 4,500 yuan.

Liang said he wants to lose 20 kilograms and regain confidence and a positive self image. He weighs around 98 kg and is about 175 centimeters tall.

Liang's boss warned him that being overweight may damage his career prospects.

The salesman said he had noticed that in many industries employees with good figures were favored while overweight workers might be labeled as lazy and not trustworthy, even though it was unfair.

"In the past only women were obsessed with losing weight and shaping their figures but recently men have also got in on the act," he said.

The slimming and fitness industries in China now look to men as they attach increasing importance to their weight and personal image.

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