Women `have tried 61 diets by age of 45`

London: An average 45-year-old woman has been on 61 diets through her life, according to a survey.

In a poll of 2,000 British men and women, more than three-quarters had embarked on a diet in the past year. However, women had tried the biggest array of eating plans to try to shift the pounds.

There are fears that fad diets are rubbing off on the next generation, causing potential future health problems.

Six out of ten people surveyed said they had been asked by their children not to give them foods such as bread, potatoes and fruit, believing they are bad for them, when they are healthy as part of a balanced diet.

Around half of parents did remove some of these foods from their children’s diet.

More than 85 per cent of those surveyed on behalf of the bread company Warburtons said they did not know calcium was important to their diet and around half did not know the mineral was found in white bread.

In particular, those aged under 26 didn’t realise the importance of calcium even though it helps grow and maintain bones which carry on developing until around 30.

These findings have got experts worried.

“An average of 61 diets over an adult lifetime could mean an awful lot of people have cut a significant amount of calcium out of their diet over the years especially if they’ve been avoiding calcium-rich food groups on a regular basis,” the Daily Mail quoted TV doctor Hilary Jones as saying.

“It seems the British obsession with dieting could be having a detrimental effect on our nutritional intake, as many people lose sight of what constitutes a healthy balanced diet.

“All breads contribute a range of essential nutrients from protein and calcium to iron and B group vitamins,” she said.