British men 'addicted to pork pies'

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Indy Lifestyle Online

YOU CAN tell an addict by the guilty look on his face. And the strain on his belt. A survey by Tesco has found that millions of middle-aged men are secretly addicted to pork pies.

YOU CAN tell an addict by the guilty look on his face. And the strain on his belt. A survey by Tesco has found that millions of middle-aged men are secretly addicted to pork pies.

Knowing that their wives or partners will disapprove, they buy large pies from the supermarket on the way home, eat them all at once and throw away the wrappers so there is no incriminating evidence.

Other tell-tale signs include crumbs or jelly on the dashboard and an unusual reluctance to have a second helping of dinner once they get home.

"Pork pies have become the forbidden fruit of the Nineties," says Jacqueline O'Neill of Tesco. "No one admits to eating them, but we sell millions every year."

The actual figure is close to 400,000 a week, an annual total in excess of 20 million, just for that supermarket chain alone. Intrigued by the mystery of who ate all the pies, Tesco researchers interviewed more than 64,000 men at 534 stores across the country.

"Men tell us that pork pies are as addictive as cigarettes, and they have just got to have their weekly fix, " says Ms O'Neill. "Rather than risk an argument with their other half about the amount of fat in their diet they often decide it is much easier not to tell their wives at all."

The survey also shows that some women buy packs of small pies rather than a single large one as it allows them to control the amount their men eat.

Earlier this year the former Health Secretary Frank Dobson confessed to a passion for pork pies, particularly those made by hand in his native Yorkshire. The 59-year-old also admitted he had put on weight since being elected to government, and needed to lose two stone.

Kevin Booth, president of the Pork Pie Appreciation Society, tried to assure him by saying: "I eat three pies a week and I am a slim and fit 12 stone. Everybody has got a misconception that pork pies are bad for you, but a little of what you fancy does you good."

Dieticians say that most modern meat is bred to make it lean, but the contents of pork pies often contain large quantities of saturated fat. An average pie has around 500 calories, almost twice as many as a Mars bar.

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