Fifth of Brits 'would lose finger to achieve perfect shape'

Campaigners have urged Brits to avoid fad diets this New Year Credit: PA Wire

Campaigners have urged Brits to avoid fad diets this New Year as a poll showed a fifth would lose a finger in return for the perfect body.

Be Real, a national campaign made up of individuals, schools, businesses, charities and public bodies, warned the country is "obsessed" with diets after being "bombarded" with idealised images of celebrities and models.

A fifth of 2,000 adults polled on behalf of the campaign said they would a finger to achieve the perfect shape.

A quarter said they struggled to maintain diet and exercise regimes with a fifth of those polled admitting they had skipped meals in a bid to lose weight.

Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, chairwoman of Be Real, said: "People are increasingly obsessed with diets.

"But actually, at the same time as a nation we are getting bigger. It is obviously a fixation that doesn't work.

"The sad reality is that somebody of any age can become fixated about dieting to achieve the perfect body.

"But young women are likely to be more affected by it and feel greater pressure than other sectors of the population."

Holli Rubin, a psychotherapist specialising in body image, said: "Dieting and losing weight top the New Year's resolutions lists every year and the pressure this causes often means we're setting ourselves up to fail.

"The cycle of dieting is very hard to break and very bad for our general health and well being. "