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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 February, 2003, 08:37 GMT
Most diets don't work
Many people battle weight problems
Just one in every 100 people who go on a diet succeed in shedding weight permanently.

However, the high chance of failure did not stop 34 million Britons trying to lose weight last year, spending more than 10 billion in the process.

The appallingly low success rate of diets reflects badly on the diet industry
Lawrence Gould
Independent market analysts Datamonitor, who conducted the research, says that the diet industry is guilty of raising expectations unrealistically.

This helped turn the UK into the second biggest market for diet-related products in Europe after Germany.

In the UK the average weight watcher spends approximately 300 on diet products each year.

Many on a diet

Datamonitor carried out research among 600 people in seven European countries.

The results suggested three-quarters of the respondents were either on a diet or had been on one recently.

Datamonitor said the makers of diet-related products should ensure consumers were aware they often need to change what they eat in the long term if they want to get rid of excess weight for good.

Across Europe, the market for diet products has increased from 56.6 billion in 1998 to 62.3 billion last year. It is predicted to reach 67.7 billion by 2007.

In the UK sales of diet products have gone from 9.7 billion four years ago to 10.4 billion in 2002 and is estimated to top 11.2 billion within five years.

Lawrence Gould, analyst at Datamonitor, said: "In 2002, 230.6 million people across Europe attempted a diet. Of these, only 3.8 million will succeed in keeping off the weight that they have lost for over a year.

"The appallingly low success rate of diets reflects badly on the diet industry, and this problem must be addressed effectively.

"The food and drinks industry, as well as retailers, have the influence and financial leverage necessary to produce coherent information campaigns to educate dieters on nutritional matters."

The research was conducted in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK.



Diets in the dock
02 Sep 02 |  4x4 Reports

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