More youngsters are prepared to take drastic action over fears about their body image, a new report has found.

The survey of 810 youngsters aged 11-16 years old found that more than half of girls and a third of boys saying they compared their bodies to what they see on TV. About a quarter of boys and girls said they would have cosmetic surgery to get the look they wanted.

Additionally, one in ten boys said they would take steroids to become more muscular while one in eight girls would consider using diet pills to help them lose weight.

Rosi Prescott, chief executive of Central YMCA, the charity which commissioned the survey, said: "Young people appear to be increasingly insecure about their appearance and body image.

"There is a growing trend to resort to quick fixes, which are damaging to health and often unfulfilling.

"It is also interesting that what used to be seen as a problem affecting young girls has now spread to young men.

"The root cause of this problem is the pressure on young people to conform to an unattainable and unrealistic body image ideal."

Earlier this week, an all-party group of MPs started an inquiry into body image in the UK, which will include issues such as anorexia, obesity and self-harm.

Posted by Robert Mair on 30/11/2011