London: Four out of five men are unhappy about their bodies, especially beer bellies and lack of musculature, according to an online survey.

The Centre for Appearance Research at the University of West England in Bristol, studied the responses of 384 British men with an average age of 40.

About 35 percent of respondents said they would trade a year of their life to achieve their ideal body weight or shape.

The greatest issue men have is with their muscularity, with 60 per cent saying that their arms, chests and stomachs were not muscular enough.

This desire for more muscle mass may explain why one in five men questioned was on a high protein diet, and nearly one in three used protein supplements.

The survey also found that 80 per cent of men who responded engaged regularly in conversation about one another's bodies, which researchers referred to as 'body talk'.

"Body talk reinforces the unrealistic beauty ideal which reinforces leanness and muscularity," a news channel quoted Dr Philippa Diedrichs, who led the study, as saying.

"This is traditionally seen as an issue for women but our research shows that men are feeling the pressure to conform too," she said.

Dr Diedrichs said this was not a case of encouraging obesity, but an attempt to not trivialise negative body image issues.

"We need to take a collaborative approach to promoting an environment that values diversity in appearance and promotes healthy body image," she said.