YOU can forget faddy diets and gruelling exercise regimes, because if you really want to lose weight your best bet is to take up gardening.
New research from the University of Utah has revealed that green-fingered men and women tend to be trimmer than non-gardeners.
The study showed that a woman who gardened was on average 11lb lighter than a non-gardening female neighbour – roughly the equivalent to a whole dress size.
Meanwhile, green-fingered men were shown to be 16lb – more than a stone – lighter than their non-gardening counterparts.
What’s more, the research revealed that men were 62 per cent less likely to be overweight or obese if they gardened, while the women were 46 per cent less likely to pile on the pounds.
And the differences in weight could not be explained away by good genes, as the study found non-gardening brothers and sisters were not as slim as their green-fingered siblings.
But it seems that spouses benefit from their husbands and wives endeavours – possibly due to helping out in the garden or eating the fresh fruit and veg grown at home.
“We know that obesity is costly,” said lead author Cathleen Zick, professor of family and consumer studies at the university.
“This study begins to shed light on the costs and benefits of the choices families make about eating and physical activity.”