A third of 14 and 15-year-old girls skip breakfast to lose weight, a study by the Schools Health Education Unit has warned.

The study, which looked at data going back to the 1980s, also found that one in five teenage girls skipped lunch and one in 12 missed breakfast and lunch. Additionally, the numbers missing meals had doubled in the last 30 years.

But it wasn't all bad news, the organisation has claimed, as youngsters are now more likely to eat vegetables instead of crisps, sweets, chocolates and chips than they were 10 years ago.

Claire Rick, from the School Food Trust, told the Daily Mail that skipping lunch can make youngsters tired and underperform in the classroom.

She said: "Our research shows that children are far more able to concentrate and focus with their teachers after a healthy meal at lunchtime, and we hear from schools all the time about the impact of better food for children's behaviour at school.

"That's why it's so important that the school dining room is a place where pupils want to spend their lunchtimes, and that we continue working on all of the factors that will encourage more pupils to opt for a healthy school lunch."

Posted by Robert Mair on 16/2/2012