Friday, May 4, 2012

Un-thin-spiring: Super skinny stars like Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole are a turn-off for dieters

Women find their fragile frames 'demotivating'
Dieters say thin celeb figures make them feel even less satisfied with their own - and more likely to give up

By Deborah Arthurs

Un-thin-spiring: Dieters say looking at pictures of Victoria Beckham or Cheryl Cole puts them off their healthy eating plans as they feel they will never attain such unrealistic figures

It is an age-old dieter's trick. Sticking a photo of a skinny celebrity on your fridge in the hopes it will put you off the chocolate might work for some.

But for a growing number, super-slim celebrities like Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole are now so thin that their appearance is actually having an adverse effect on dieters.

Rather than encourage women to lose weight, they actually demotivate ladies, new research has found.

The study also found that the vast majority of women prefer to look closer to home for inspiration.

Female dieters are five times more likely to dig out an old picture of themselves when they were slimmer if they need inspiration to lose weight, rather than stare at an air-brushed image of a celebrity in a glossy magazine or online.

Two thirds told researchers they were inspired to lose weight after seeing an image of themselves slimmer, while just 12 per cent said a picture of a skinny celebrity helped spur them on.

Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham was the dieter that women loved to hate the most, with a quarter saying they dreaded seeing pictures of the mother-of-four's fragile frame.

Cheryl Cole was next on the hit list, as a fifth said looking at pictures of the Geordie pop star or watching her perform on stage in barely-there costumes made them feel less motivated to lose weight.

One in ten revealed how images of the newly skinny WAG Abbey Crouch were the ones most likely to put them off their diet.

Other super slim celebrities that came in for a bashing included, the Duchess of Cambridge, Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie and pop star Rihanna.

Meanwhile, a full 90 per cent of women insisted they did not believe celebrity dieters when they said they were able to eat whatever they liked.

The survey of 2,000 women across the UK was commissioned by the New Atkins Diet.

Too thin? Angelina Jolie was one of the stars cited as putting women off their diet

Speaking about the results of the study, Linda O’Byrne, chief nutritionist for the New Atkins Diet, said: 'For the first time we are able to prove that most women do not respond to glossy, air-brushed images of super skinny celebrities.

“In fact women are saying that these images are the least effective way to inspire them to slim down, as it simply makes them feel less satisfied with their own body and less motivated to lose weight and get in shape.

'People know the glitz and the glamour of celebrity life is not the real world, where what you see is not necessarily what you get. So where better to turn to for inspiration than youself, this can often be the best motivation ever.'

The study also revealed that 95 per cent of adult women across the UK – over 28 million females – have dieted at some point in their life; while one in seven insist they are always on a diet.

Wolverhampton is the diet capital of the UK, where three out of every ten women are constantly on a slimming regime.

Three quarters believe there is too much pressure on women to be slim, with this figure rising to nine out of ten females aged over 55. Interestingly just over half of women under 25 believed there was too much pressure to be a certain size.

Glossy magazines and the media in general, followed by celebrities and the fashion industry, were named and shamed as those applying the most pressure to ordinary women to be slim, while two fifths insisted women had to accept some of the blame themselves.



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