London: Almost half of dieters could not to stick to their healthy eating habits for more than a month, according to a survey. The study by weight loss firm Slimsticks found that around 28 per cent of young people embark on a new diet each month, but 45 per cent of them give up their new eating habits after a week. That compares to 48.9 per cent of all dieters giving up after a month.

With 33 percent of dieters admitting they need to lose two stones or more, the finding indicted an obesity problem that is out of control.

"Obesity is reaching epidemic status and it is getting worse and that is why we are seeing more people and younger people desperate to lose weight," the Mirror quoted Dietician Priya Tew as saying.

"Portion sizes are bigger and people reach for a chocolate bar more often than an apple. A lot of convenience foods are high in calories and fat, so the weight just continues to rise.

"It is disturbing because so many are risk conditions such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease later in life," she added.

Research also shows 48 per cent of dieters switch plans every six months. "People must accept it took a long time to put on the weight so it cannot be lost in a few weeks. But by eating a sensible diet, it can be achieved and the health benefits are worth the effort," Tew said.

Meanwhile, parents are suggesting that children should be kept in school at lunchtimes to prevent them buying unhealthy snacks and takeaways.

Almost 75 per cent of 12,000 mums and dads told a survey the move would avoid youngsters being tempted by fast food outlets on the high street.

And 92 per cent want tough healthy food standards to apply to all schools, including academies, which are exempt from these nutrition rules.

Anne Bull of the Local Authorities Caterers Association, who did the study, said: "We should encourage young people to eat school food."

(Agencies)

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