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Obesity fears over "comfort eating"

There are fears a rise in comfort eating brought about by the recent rains and floods may be adding to the UK's obesity woes.

A new survey shows Britons have been tucking into more chocolate, cakes and carbohydrates this summer in a bid to beat the bad weather blues.

The poll by supermarket chain Somerfield found that 50% of adults abandoned their usual summer diet this year, in favour of stodgy "comfort-eating" foods.

More than a quarter (27%) gave up salads completely, and one in 10 let their fruit and vegetable intake drop significantly.

Instead, 18% said they ate more chocolate, 14% consumed more cakes, and 9% munched their way through more pasta and bread in July and August.

Joy Parker, home economist for the Somerfield Magazine, said: "Reaching for the comfort food is a real mistake. You may require a few more carbohydrates for energy, but the route to summer smiles are superfoods such as summer berries, nuts and seeds."

Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those polled blamed the grey days for increased feelings of lethargy and irritability, and 26% abandoned their exercise regimes during the rainy weather.

Some 32% believe the lack of sunshine has lowered their productivity at work, and 43% have opted to stay at home rather than socialise in order to avoid the bad weather.

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