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Britain has an underground world of desperate women who stash away junk food and bolt it down in secret, reveals a survey in a brand new magazine, launched on the UK’s news-stands this week.

The survey, from LighterLife magazine, exposes a community of guilt-ridden women who lie to their families about how much they eat and will even throw away food because they can’t trust themselves not to eat it.

The ground-breaking 132-page weight-loss and lifestyle glossy is strictly a ‘model free zone’, and the first to address weight loss through the mind, rather than the plate.

It commissioned BMRB to ask 1142 women, nationally representative, if they had attempted to lose weight, and 61 per cent – 693 - said they had. Their confessions make disturbing reading.

They reveal women who’d rather have chocolate or a takeaway than sex. Many are serial dieters, yet abandon their efforts after a week. They’re an alienated, unsupported community, some of whom would rather deceive their own children than give up food.

The figures show that:

Almost one in five women who have attempted to lose weight have hidden food or eaten it in secret. They stash it in their car, bathroom cupboards, under their bed, and even in their children’s rooms. And some resort to eating secret supplies in the bath, bathroom or the car

To protect their double life, women seemingly have to create a web of deceit. A quarter of dieters lie about what they have eaten, and 54 per cent of these have done so to partners. One in 10 have even lied to their children. They hide the truth, says LighterLife magazine, because they’re ashamed, fear a lecture, and sometimes simply because they don’t want to share the food with their family

Many women struggle to stick to a diet. A half say their shortest diets lasted a week or even less; a fifth have dieted at least 11 times; and a quarter have thrown food away just to stop themselves eating it

Thirty one per cent of dieting women admitted they had preferred food to sex. Of these, 50 per cent would opt for chocolate, while others would prefer takeaways, crisps and cakes

This is perhaps unsurprising, says the magazine, when women say their men are trying to sabotage their diets – “some men even try to fatten women up to ensure they don’t leave them.” Fifteen per cent believed partners encouraged them to eat more (and 11 per cent thought their family were up to the same trick, while eight per cent said friends were trying to ruin their diet).

Bar Hewlett, founder of the weight loss specialist company LighterLife, which is launching the magazine, said the saboteurs buy the wrong food, tempt dieters by eating in front of them, and even make them feel guilty.

She said: “This confirms our own experience of men who fear the ‘new you’ – of someone who emerges confident, assertive and beautiful after successful weight loss. They’re scared a woman will leave them if they don’t ‘up their game’, and believe they won’t be able to ‘control’ them when they’re thin. It’s a matter of ‘when she was fat she did what I told her’. So they’ll do things like surprise their wife with a romantic meal, when all they want her to do is put on weight, and so control her.

“Our survey reveals the extent of British women’s desperation, a desperation that we sometimes see at LighterLife,” says Bar. “There have been women who hide food in the washing machine, under the plastic bag inside a cereal packet, under their jumpers and even up their sleeves. And if someone discovers the evidence, some mothers blame their children for hiding or eating the food, and for dropping empty wrappers under the car seat. The favourite place to eat it is the toilet or bathroom, where it’s okay to be alone with the door locked.

“Another trick is to ask if anyone wants a cup of tea so you can nip to the kitchen and stuff something in when no one’s looking. Some buy two sets of shopping on separate receipts – the family shopping and the ‘my food’, the fattening stuff they’re keeping secret. They may even eat it all on the way home from the supermarket. And some mums will buy lots of treats for the kids, eat them, then secretly replace them.

“One of the main problems is that women focus too much on cutting down on calories to lose weight. The secret of losing weight and keeping it off is resolving the emotional issues that encourage you to overeat in the first place, and having support from people in the same position and professional counsellors. Learning to distinguish between physical hunger and emotional hunger is absolutely key to staying slim. And it’s even more important when you consider that nine out of 10 women who lose weight with a traditional diet put it back on a year later.”


Note to editors:

The full findings include:

61 per cent of women – 693 in all - surveyed admitted they had attempted to diet
Nearly a third of dieters said their shortest diets had failed in under five days; a further 20 per cent said a week
Around one in five of the dieters had managed to stick to a diet for more than a year
22 per cent of female dieters had bought clothes knowing they were too small
More than a half of these (59 per cent) bought trousers or jeans. Nearly one in five spent more than £30, which adds up to millions of £s when multiplied up nationwide. One shopping bill for jeans that were too small topped £100
Nearly a half of those who had bought clothes knowing that they were too small (44 per cent) bought them as an incentive to lose weight.
A full 38 per cent of women who had bought clothes knowing that they were too small still have the clothes, and nine said they threw them away or used them as rag
The typical dieter has attempted to lose weight many times – eight per cent say more than 16 times
54 per cent admitted having a comfort food
One in four people with a comfort food felt that they might be addicted to it
Chocolate was the main comfort food with 65 per cent citing it
72 per cent of dieters have tried to give up specific types of food
31 percent of women who have tried to give up a food to diet have tried to give up chocolate
27 per cent of all dieters had thrown away food to stop themselves eating it …
…And 30 per cent of these had thrown away chocolate
Nearly one in five women have hidden food, or eaten in secret
A quarter of dieters have lied about what they have eaten, more than a half of these to their partners
15 per cent of dieters think their partners have sabotaged their diets by encouraging them to eat more of something they shouldn’t, or actually buying it for them
Nearly a third admitted to having felt they would have preferred food to sex; 56 per cent of these were married the last time they felt like this
64 per cent of female dieters said they have regretted eating something
A half of all slimmers who feel they may be addicted to a comfort food say they eat comfort food when they are stressed
In the “battle of the regions”:
o 78 per cent of slimmers in the Midlands had tried to give up a food voluntarily, compared with 62 per cent in the North

o The South appears to have the more honest slimmer, of the women surveyed, 23% of those in the South said they had lied about what they had eaten compared to 28 per cent for both the Midlands and North

Foods such as chocolate has a greater lure than sex in the Midlands, where 39 per cent have felt they would rather have food, compared to 29 per cent in the North and 27 per cent in the South
..And Midlands slimmers crave for food more with 30 per cent of the women surveyed admitting they did, compared to 29 per cent for the South, and 24 per cent for the North
Regrets about eating food are fairly consistent – with all regions within the 63-66 band
The secret society…:
o People hide foods in children’s bedrooms, handbags, wardrobes, clothes drawers, under the bed and in the bathroom cupboard

o …And they snack in the street, the woods, cars, and even a school toilet


For further press information contact:

Matt Steele / Anna Harris

020 7544 0016

07887 877077

Further information on LighterLife from

08700 664747 or visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Murray PR in the following categories: Health, Women's Interest & Beauty, for more information visit