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Dieters underestimate calorie consumption, say GPs


Almost nine out of 10 GPs believe dieters are vastly underestimating the amount of calories they are consuming, according to a poll.

Of the 200 doctors surveyed, 87% feel dieters are unaware of how much they are eating, while the data from 10,000 slimmers found more than nine out of 10 (92%) fail in their dieting attempts. Almost one in five (18%) actually end up weighing more than when they started.

About a third (32%) of people who are trying to lose weight take up more exercise and 23% look at food labels before buying. The majority of dieters (91%) never control their portion size or weigh out food, research by Shape Smart found.

Losing excess pounds can be as tough as quitting smoking, 90% of doctors said, adding that people need to change their eating habits to lose weight. Two thirds (66%) regard overeating as a form of addiction, while 73% of GPs claim fad diets do not work, despite 51% of Britons having tried them.

Nutritionist Dr Chris Fenn said: “People need to adopt a personalised approach to weight loss tailored to their own situation, challenges and strengths.

“They need to understand the causes of their weight gain and the barriers to weight loss, including their relationship with food,” he said. “People are often ill-prepared to lose weight and underestimate what is required.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • What an amazing poll result....wonder how much that cost to state the obvious

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  • Commercial organisation asks an obvious question to get the answer that everyone knows but validated by a health professional.

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