Young girls are skipping meals and eating selectively over fears about body shape and weight, a new report has found.

The study, carried out by the School Health Education Unit, found that a third of girls in Year 10 missed breakfast, with 24 per cent saying they also skipped lunch the day before.

Also, forty per cent of children in Year 6 said they never ate protein, but a quarter ate chocolates and sweets on a regular basis.

Dr Laura Wyness, senior scientist at the British Nutrition Foundation, told The Daily Mail: "This often leads to young girls adopting unhealthy practices.

"These include smoking, skipping meals, especially breakfast, severely limiting foods perceived as fattening, such as red meat and dairy produce, which are important sources of protein, iron, zinc and calcium, and adopting very low energy, and therefore nutrient, diets."

Posted by Robert Mair