An increasing number of men are going under the knife to remove their so-called man boobs, according to new statistics revealing the number of these cosmetic operations grew by 28 percent in the last year.

Man boobs, commonly referred to as "moobs" are increasingly affecting many men, and with the rising obesity rates, it seems that the "moob" epidemic is here to stay.

Experts estimate that approximately 40 percent of men have gynaecomastia, or excessive development of male breasts.

Surgeons say that the demand for moob reduction operations spiked after the Olympics with many men keen to copy the nimble bodies of sport athletes.

"Man boobs can be difficult to shift using exercise alone," Pat Dunion, a spokesperson of surgery group Transform said, according to The Sun.

"More and more men who are feeling self conscious about the size of their chest area are turning to chest reduction surgery - also known as gynaecomastia - to overcome their problem and boost their confidence," Dunion said.

"With male celebrities like Matthew McConaughey, David Beckham and Tom Daley regularly showing off their super toned bodies, men have become far more aware of how they look," Dunion said, according to Daily Mail.

According to the latest statistics released by the British Association of Aesthetic and Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), male surgery accounts for 10 percent of all cosmetic surgical procedures.

Moob jobs are now the second most common cosmetic procedure for men, rising 7 percent from 741 procedures to 790 procedures.

BAAPS experts say that while it is often believed that man boobs are caused by obesity, there are other causes as well. For instance, the condition can be caused by an imbalance of the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone, and can also be triggered by some antidepressants, heart and liver medications.

Researchers have also linked certain cancer drugs that lower levels of male hormones to the development of man boobs, and past studies have shown that anabolic steroids can cause further breast tissue growth in men.

Researchers have suggested that the rising levels of female hormones in the environment can trigger the development of male breast tissue, as well.

Professor Kefah Mokbel, a breast surgery specialist at St. George's and the Princess Grace Hospitals in London said that some men are simply genetically predisposed to have more breast tissue.

"Why one man's breasts will go on to develop more than another man's is genetically determined in the same way that some women will have bigger breasts than others," Mokbel said, according to the Daily Mail.

However, he noted that the condition could also be triggered by lifestyle factors.

Moobs occur when men have excess levels of the female hormone estrogen, and obesity, particularly around the stomach area, boosts estrogen levels because of the enzyme aromatase.