More women than ever are starting diets at the expense of cutting out healthy fruit and vegetables
One in five women start a diet every month, but experts warn that an obsession with calorie counting means that many people will be cutting out nutrient-rich food.
'While magazines and TV schedules are full of celebrity chefs, food and recipes, our diets seem to be losing their balance with potentially-alarming consequences,' says Dr Emma Derbyshire, a nutritionist from Manchester Metropolitan University.
'It would seem that we are still struggling to grasp the concept of 'good nutrition' and the reason why we eat food in the first place.'
A Seven Seas study of 2,000 customers revealed that around 22 per cent of men and women begin a diet every few weeks.
Women regularly shop for low-calorie food, with up to 43 per cent admitting this controls their weekly shop, despite 63 per cent of women believing that there is too much pressure on them to slim down.
However, four our of 10 people are missing out on their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
'Though it is important to acknowledge calorie intake, this must not come at the expense of eating a balanced and varied diet, low in saturated fat but also rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids,' added Dr Derbyshire.
'Often, processed, low-calorie food can contain high levels of sugar and additives, and so may not be as healthy as people think.'
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