Aim: To determine the attitudes of rural men to matters of health and body image. Methods: Focus group discussions were used to examine the attitudes of a sample of Australian rural men to matters of health and body image in the context of their eating and exercise behaviours. Forty-two rural men, aged 25'64, took part in four focus groups, one exclusively for farmers, in south western New South Wales (NSW). Results: Results from these focus groups reveal that many of the masculine myths surrounding male behaviour in relation to health and ideas on body image persist among rural men in south western NSW. Talking about health is not considered a male past-time; visiting health professionals is still seen as a last resort; being a 'big bloke' is perceived to be advantageous and heavy drinking is still considered an Australian male domain, especially amongst the younger men in the groups. Conclusion: This study provides a deeper understanding of rural men's attitudes to body image issues and lifestyle behaviours, which is critical to helping change health outcomes for this hard-to-reach group.
O'Kane, G., Craig, P., & Sutherland, D. (2008). Riverina men's study: An exploration of rural men's attitudes to health and body image. Nutrition and Dietetics, 65(1), 66-71. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0080.2007.00176.x