Fat Britain: More people in UK and Ireland view themselves as overweight than anywhere else in Europe

Sarah Spickernell
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We're giving up our diets (Source: Getty)
When it comes to self-image, people in the UK have an inflated view of themselves.
A higher percentage of people in Ireland and Britain consider themselves to be “overweight” than anywhere else in Europe, according to a survey by information service Nielsen.
Out of the 32 countries included, Ireland came in first place. It was followed closely by the UK, where 60 per cent of the adult population have this negative view of themselves.
Broken down, 22 per cent of Britons consider themselves “somewhat” or “very” overweight, while 38 per cent say they’re a “little” overweight.
The picture isn't pretty elsewhere in Europe, however – across the whole continent, an average of 52 per cent of people consider themselves to be overweight.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, numbers were still high – Poland came lowest with 32 per cent, followed by Russia with 40 per cent.

Dieting goes down the drain

The situation looks set to get even worse, as people in the UK increasingly turn to dieting pills in favour of eating less and doing more exercise.
46 per cent of people in the UK are now trying to lose weight, compared to 51 per cent three years ago, and they are much less likely to invest in healthy food products than people elsewhere.
For example, having food which is free from genetically-modified organisms is an important factor for 47 per cent of Europeans, compared to 22 per cent of Britons. Meanwhile, the use of dieting pills has doubled since 2012, going up from three per cent to seven per cent during that time.
“Not only are fewer Britons trying to lose weight, it seems they’re slowly becoming increasingly reliant on easier fixes at the expense of harder work such as changing diet and exercise,” said Mike Watkins, Nielsen’s UK head of business.

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