Do You Live to Eat or Eat to Live?

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Gorging and guilt

Most of those polled come from families with a "clean-plate club" mentality; 39 percent say their mothers urged them to eat for the sake of starving children overseas, and 29 percent were made to polish off every bite of dinner before they could have dessert. Just 13 percent of respondents say their families stressed healthy eating.

Yet despite this childhood emphasis on full portions, many women are extremely self-conscious about what they put in their mouths. Although 54 percent say they don't watch what they eat when they're around other people, 38 percent do for fear of developing a reputation as a glutton. Nine percent of those polled will skip dessert for appearance's sake.

When they eat more than they think they should, 35 percent give themselves grief for having no self-control, 31 percent vow to make up for it the next day and 14 percent come right out and say, "I hate myself." One fifth of women feel good about splurging.

Size matters

What's the best size for a woman? Respondents don't idealize the thinnest of the thin; only 3 percent say size 2 is their idea of perfection. Size 10 is the choice of 25 percent, with sizes 8, 12 and 6 following close behind. However, few of the women polled actually live up to their own ideals; the majority -- 41 percent -- wear size 16 or larger, and another 15 percent are size 14.

Continued on page 3:  Results Continued


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