*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
*Text Courtesy ANI
A new study has revealed that schoolgirls as young as 12 are unhappy with their weight and some are skipping meals in an effort to be skinnier.
Half of girls in year eight - who are aged 12 and 13 - said they wanted to be thinner.
And 58 per cent of girls in year ten, aged 14 or 15, said they wanted to lose weight, according to the study by the Schools Health Education Unit.
In the research, 31,354 boys and girls aged ten to 15 were questioned about their eating habits and body image.
A quarter of year ten girls skipped breakfast on the morning they were questioned and 20 per cent had skipped lunch the day before.
Of those who had skipped breakfast, 36 per cent had avoided eating lunch on the previous day.
Meanwhile experts have warned that if many of the girls keen to lose weight started dieting they could be putting their health at risk.
"An analysis of the characteristics of the year ten females shows that most of those wanting to lose weight are within the limits of 'healthy' weight, and some are already underweight," the Daily Mail quoted the researchers as saying.
The survey also found that while around 16 per cent of children thought that their health was down to luck, three-quarters of pupils in years eight and ten said they felt 'in charge' of their health.
Health campaigners said the results were unsurprising considering young people's exposure to airbrushed images of celebrities in magazines.
The same survey found that many teenagers feel they are not getting enough sleep to concentrate at school.
Twenty-eight per cent of girls and 22 per cent of boys in year ten thought they needed more sleep.
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