Women resorting to extreme weight loss methods experience 'diet brain', leaving them depressed, agitated and forgetful, experts suggest.
As a result four out of ten admitted their marriage or relationship had suffered, while a quarter said their performance at work had also been blighted.
Nutritionists are now urging dieters to take sensible steps to avoid such symptoms.
Four out of ten women admitted their weight obsession had a negative impact
One in three women admitted 'diet brain' had made them obsessed with losing weight, while 55 per cent said their desperation to be slimmer had left them feeling low.
And the condition - which is brought on by extreme dieting - can prevent many from reaching their target weight.
'Diet brain' can cause depression and forgetfulness according to experts
Nutritionist Linda O’Byrne, who helped collate information from the survey of 2,000 British women, said those who suffer from 'diet brain' are not slimming correctly.
'If you find yourself suffering from ‘diet brain’ then the reality is that you are not slimming down correctly and you need to take action to alter the situation.
'It is very worrying to discover that dieting has affected large numbers of women’s relationships and even their jobs, this is not how it should be.
'A weight loss program should form part of a healthy living regime and should never be extreme.'
A quarter of women polled said they felt hungry all the time when on a diet and one in six said slimming made them miserable.
Only 15 per cent said they felt more positive due to dieting.
Miss O’Byrne, who advocates the New Atkins Diet which bans no food groups, added : 'We are on a mission to banish ‘diet brain’, it is not something that anybody trying to lose weight should experience.'
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