1-in-5 young women take weight pills
Young women are popping pills in a bid to lose weight.
One-in-five women aged between 18 and 24 admit they have taken tablets to try to become slimmer.
However, the practice is not just confined to a younger age group.
When it comes to taking action towards fitting into a smaller dress size, it seems there is very little that some Irish women will not rule out.
They are willing to skip meals, fast, go on crash diets and use laxatives, and participate in 'fad diets', according to the survey of 1,000 women, which was carried out by MillwardBrown for the Herald.
As part of The Body Survey, women were asked if they had ever taken tablets to lose weight.
The results showed that 20pc of women across all ages surveyed said that they have taken tablets to lose weight.
A breakdown of the results reveals that women in the 35 to 44 year old age group were the least likely to have done this (15pc).
However, 21pc of women aged between 18 and 24 have popped tablets, and this figure rose to 23pc for those aged between 25 and 34.
Somewhat surprisingly, women aged between 45 and 54 were just as likely as younger women to have taken a tablet to lose weight (21pc).
Pharmacists will try to talk to people who request diet pills about the "eat less-move more" ethos, and maybe try to enrol them on a weight management programme, according to one expert.
"The only way that weight loss is going to be sustained in the long term with health benefits is that they have a healthy diet, and they exercise appropriately and we try to make sure that people do that," said pharmacist Kathy Maher, who is based in Duleek, Co Meath.
However, she warned that while diet pills may be quick fixes for a week or two, they don't achieve the health benefits and "that's what we would be trying to get across to patients".
"But like anything, you can't just kind of continue as you are going and take these things.
"Everything has to be done with weight management programmes such as weight watchers, calorie control and then make sure people do the long term exercise."
The pharmacist also warned against buying such products over the internet.
"Things that are purchased online tend to be things like diet pills, sleeping tablets, these kind of things," said Kathy.
"And they are nearly always counterfeit, but also have very, very harmful consequences as well."
Recent figures show just over half of Irish women over the age of 20 are now considered overweight or obese, as are a massive 66pc of Irish men.
The War on Weight: see pages 10-11