Are you a secret snacker?

Women across Britain are snacking in secret, with some even going as far as to hide their nibbles under the bed so that their partners don't find them, a new survey has found.

The study of 2,000 British women by the American Pistachio Growers found that 33% are enjoying a quiet pick-me-up when no one else is watching.

Exploring the reasons for secret snacking, women admitted to feeling embarrassed about the type of food they enjoy, as well as the amount of snacks they consume.

Two thirds admitted to wanting to have the snacks all to themselves, with 46% of women saying they 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 them first.

Two thirds of secret snackers said they had even kept the truth about their nibbles hidden from their partner.

Forty per cent of women said they had hidden delicious food or snacks from their partner so that they wouldn't eat them too.

The back of the drawer or cupboard were the most popular places, followed by under the bed.

A sneaky 21 per cent have made a secret trip to the shops to stock up on tasty snacks without their partner knowing.

A spokesperson for American Pistachio Growers said: "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."

Half the women surveyed admitted to feeling guilty after enjoying a treat.

Nearly half said they were embarrassed about how often they snack
on something, while 55 per cent said they hated the idea of people thinking they eat too much.

Another 19 per cent said they did not want people to think they were unhealthy in their food choices.

Dr Cathy Kapica, Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University and a science advisor to the American Pistachio Growers said: "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

"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.

"If you are snacking in secret, it probably means you are eating something you think you shouldn't be eating."

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.

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.

More than two thirds of women (69%) said they were worried that they snacked too often or too unhealthily.

The study suggested a strong desire among most women to change their diets, with a staggering 80% trying to cut down on their snacks 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.

Dr Kapica added that if people stuck to sensible snacking, they "wouldn't be worried about doing it in secret".