Children as young as 10 are unhappy with their weight and believe they need to shed some pounds, research suggests.
It indicates that young people become increasingly concerned about their weight as they grow up, with nearly two-thirds of 14- and 15-year-old girls (those in Year 10) saying they would like to be slimmer.
The study also suggests that young people are increasingly likely to skip breakfast or lunch as they get older.
The findings come from a report by the Schools questioned more than 93,600 young people, of whom more than 68,000 were 10- to 15-year-olds, in 2012.
It found that nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) of girls in Year 10 (aged 14 and 15) say they would like to lose weight, along with more than half (54 per cent) of those in Year 8 (aged 12 and 13).
And more than a third (37 per cent) of 10 and 11-year-old girls – those in the final year of primary school (Year 6) – say they would like to lose weight.
Boys were less concerned about how much they weigh, with just under three in 10 (29 per cent) of those aged 14 and 15 saying they want to drop a few pounds and 14 per cent saying they would like to put some on.
Around one in six (17 per cent) 14 and 15-year-old girls, and more than one in 10 (11 per cent) boys of the same age did not eat breakfast.
Nearly one in five (19 per cent) of Year 10 girls had no lunch, along with 14 per cent of Year 8 girls.|