10 years of your life dieting, and one in four lose no weight at all
Published 29/05/2008 | 08:00
Women in Northern Ireland spend 10 years of their life on diets, new research has revealed.
The study revealed that the typical British woman will go on two healthy eating plans every year, with each one lasting an average of five weeks.
That adds up to 104 diets between the ages of 18 and 70, and a total of 10 years watching what they eat.
And with each diet seeing an average of 6.3lbs dropping off, that means women could lose almost a stone every year.
However, a quarter of all women lose nothing at all, and the fact that the average woman embarks on at least two diets every year suggests any weight they do lose does not stay off.
The research also reveals one-in-10 women spend 25 years or more of their lives dieting.
The poll of 4,000 women, by natural weight management supplement Lipobind, found almost three quarters thought they needed to lose a few pounds, with more than 41% admitting they felt like they were constantly on a diet or watching what they eat.
A third of all British women started their first diet at the age of 16 or under, however 44% said no matter what they did, they never seemed to lose weight, and 59% don't think they will ever achieve the shape they want.
The research also revealed the average woman aspires to be a size 10, although a quarter sees a size eight or under as ideal.
And 39% of women have been so embarrassed by their looks, they have lied about their dress size or weight. Another 77% would support a ban on airbrushing pictures of celebrities and models in a bid to take the pressure of normal women.
However, it's not just our own weight we worry about — 32% of women are concerned they will be responsible for making their own children fat or even obese.
Professor of human nutrition at the University of Ulster, Barbara Livingstone, said the modern lifestyle affected the need to constantly weight watch.
She said: "These days with the abundance of food and where people are less active, it is inevitable people will watch what they eat.
"This is not necessarily something to be concerned about — as long as there is not a rapid loss of weight followed by rapid re-gain."
Meanwhile, Dr Glenn Wilson, professor at The King's College Institute of Psychiatry, said: "This highlights how much women think about their weight.
"Women's weight is bound to fluctuate due to life changing events such as having a baby, emotional factors associated with relationships and changes in their working environment."