Britons are carrying the equivalent of 10 trucks full of paper in gadgets such as mobiles, cameras and laptops, according to Toshiba.

The virtual weight measurements are based on research by California Institute of Technology professor Roy Williams. He estimated that one gigabyte was the equivalent of a pick-up truck filled with paper.

Toshiba found that 60 per cent of people kept 1,000 to 2,000 music files on their devices. The company also found that 40 per cent save up to 20 texts and e-mails: 1.55MB; 47 per cent save up to 20 images: 4MB; and 60 per cent save 1,000-2,000 music files: 5-10GB.

Toshiba's European storage device division general manager Martin Larsson told the BBC: "Britain has become a nation of information hoarders with a ferocious appetite for data.

"As storage capabilities increase and the features and functionalities of mobile devices expand to support movie files and entire libraries of multi-media content, we will all become virtually obese."