London: Have you ever lied to your wife or girlfriend when she asked you -- "Do I look fat in this?” If 'yes', fret not, for a study has found most men avoid telling the truth while responding to this question.
   
The study, based on a survey, has revealed that almost a third of men refuse to confront their partner about losing a few pounds for fear of upsetting them or provoking a row.
   
Women, on the other hand, would be far less shy about telling their other half that they need to go on a diet. Only 10 per cent would feel uncomfortable about raising the issue, the survey in Britain has found.
   
By contrast -- though not surprisingly -- nearly a quarter of women would avoid telling a girl friend she needs to slim down, the study says.
   
The poll of more than 2,000 people was commissioned by the International Chair on Cardiometabolic Risk to highlight the risks of being overweight, especially around the stomach, reported a daily.
   
The survey, supported by the UK's National Obesity Forum, found 59 per cent of people feared that a loved one with a large waistline would develop serious health problems.
   
But 31 per cent said the fear of hurting their feelings or provoking a bad reaction would stop them saying they needed to lose weight.
   
Prof David Haslam of the National Obesity Forum said: "Suggesting to someone they should consider losing a few pounds may not be a comfortable conversation but if someone has a large waistline, then as long as you do it sensitively, discussing it now could help them avoid critical health risks later and could even save their life."
   
Added Dr Jean Pierre Despres of the ICCR: "This is about health not vanity. Start by encouraging someone close to you to make simple lifestyle changes."

(Agencies)