One in three UK women admits to snacking in secret, a study by the American Pistachio Growers released today has revealed.

Embarrassment about the type of food they eat, as well as the amount of snacks they consume means 33 per cent of women enjoy a quiet pick-me-up when no-one else is around. And two thirds of those even keep their snacks a secret from their own partner, with half claiming to feel guilty after enjoying a little treat.

Almost half (46%) also admit to being embarrassed about how often they snack on something, while 55 per cent don’t like other people to think they eat too much. Another 19 per cent simply don’t want people to think they are unhealthy in their food choices.

According to Dr. Cathy Kapica, Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University, and a science advisor to the American Pistachio Growers : ‘’The odd snack here and there isn’t a bad thing. In fact snacks can be an important part of a healthy eating style. Choosing snack foods that are nutritious and taste good may help alleviate the sense of guilt, and the need for secrecy around snacking.”

The study of 2,000 Brits also revealed that 40 per cent of women hide delicious food or snacks from their partner to stop them eating it, with the back of the drawer or cupboard the most popular place. Almost one in ten even hide food under their bed.

A spokesperson for American Pistachio Growers continued: “We were shocked to hear that people are resorting to hiding food under their bed. Keeping your snacking habit from your partner is not only extreme, but must also be difficult, especially if you live together”.

And while 31 per cent hide the food away because they don’t want others to know they are eating it, almost two thirds admit it’s because they want to have it all to themselves. Dr. Kapica adds ‘’Switching to healthy snacks, or cutting down on the amount of treats you enjoy, would be much easier than trying to keep it secret from everyone you are close to.’’

Forty-six per cent of women have even eaten the nice treats they have bought before they’ve even got home from the supermarket to make sure no-one else eats it first. And a sneaky 21 per cent have made a secret trip to the shops to stock up on tasty snacks without their partner knowing. According to Dr Kapica “if they were eating snacks like they should be, they wouldn’t be worried about doing it in secret.”

The study also revealed that the average woman will have two snacks a day, with almost three quarters even owning up to skipping a meal and having a little treat instead. And half admit they can never go a full day without having at least one snack in between meals. Crisps were the most popular choice of snack followed by chocolate, biscuits and cake.

But 69 per cent of women say they are worried that they snack too often, or too unhealthily, with a staggering 80 per cent trying to cut down or munch on healthier food instead. Fresh fruit is most likely to be eaten by those trying to be healthy, followed by nuts and crackers.

Pistachios in the shell are a smart snack choice. A one ounce serving contains 49 nuts—more per serving than any other snack nut—for only 160 calories. Plus, pistachios are packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, protein and other nutrients your body needs to stay healthy and support heart health, weight management and blood sugar control. The act of opening each pistachio shell to get out the nut slows down the eating process, which can lead to greater satisfaction and fullness. And the visual cue of the empty shells helps remind you how much you have eaten, making it easier to manage how much you eat.

“If you are snacking in secret, it probably means you are eating something you think you shouldn’t be eating. Pistachios are one snack food you can feel proud to eat—and share”, says Dr. Kapica.

Notes to editors:
- Research conducted by One Poll, in March 2012 on behalf of American Pistachio Growers
- American Pistachio Growers is a voluntary trade association representing members who are pistachio growers, processors and industry partners in California, Arizona and New Mexico. These states represent 100% of US commercial pistachio production
- APG pistachios are the “Official Snack” of both USA Water Polo and Miss California

Julia Morgan
Ketchum Pleon
020 7611 3513

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