May 17/London/Press Association Mediapoint -- Most dieters vastly underestimate how many calories they are eating, according to their GPs, a poll reveals.
Data from 10,000 slimmers and 200 doctors found 87% of GPs believe dieters are in the dark about how much they actually eat. Meanwhile, more than nine out of 10 people (92%) see their dieting attempts end in failure, with 18% ending up weighing more than when they started.
Only around one in three (32%) people take up more exercise when they are trying to lose weight, while only 23% check food labels before buying. Most (91%) never weigh out food or control their portion size.
Overall, 90% of GPs said people needed to change their eating habits to lose weight and that losing excess pounds can be as difficult as quitting smoking. Two thirds (66%) regard overeating as a form of addiction, while 73% of GPs said 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.
"People are often ill-prepared to lose weight and underestimate what is required."
The survey was commissioned by Shape.Smart.
From the May 24, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition