TWO out of three Irish people now believe they need to slim down – and would like to shed those extra pounds.
A new survey shows that one in five Irish women say they avoid having sex when they feel overweight.
Over half believe unhealthy eating is the main reason for weight gain.
However, 40pc believe an expanding waistline and other signs of obesity is a natural part of getting older.
While the desire to lose weight is almost evenly split between men and women, the latter are much more motivated in wanting to do something about it.
More than eight out of 10 women feel they should take action to fit into a dress size of their choice.
Almost one third of women want to lose weight so as to feel sexy. In contrast, just 15pc of men feel their sex appeal is affected by how much they weigh.
For those trying to stick to a diet plan almost one third find chocolate to be their biggest temptation.
The tummy and waistline are the most common areas of the body where adults tend to go up in size.
For women who are dieting over 80pc say that feeling their clothes fit them better is the greatest incentive to stick with a diet plan.
Men are motivated by a feeling of having more energy and by seeing the results of their efforts on the scales.
Dr Eva Orsmond, the Finnish weight-loss guru, says it is crucial that GPs are honest with their patients about their weight issues.
“I've said a lot that GPs must not be afraid. That they must tell their patients that they have weight and that they must lose it,” she said.
“But, in my clinics, where they have come to seek my help with weight, if I say, for example, ‘Your child is overweight,' they have a real problem accepting it.”
Speaking about this XLS-Medical survey, consultant dietitian Helen Bond said: “It's seems obvious that personal confidence and feeling happy are closely linked to maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.'
“Feeling overweight can impact on every aspect of a person's life and can make taking even the smallest steps towards a better lifestyle seem like a momentous task. Anyone wanting to lose weight and be healthier should seek ongoing support to motivate them and help them stay on track.”