A new poll has revealed that many teenage girls skip up to two meals a day thinking they are overweight.
The survey conducted by the Schools Health Education Unit, found that one in 10 teenage girls between 14 and 15 years missed two meals a day thinking they are overweight.
The poll further claimed that a quarter (26 per cent) of the girls who were questioned frequently skipped breakfast, while 22 per cent routinely avoided eating lunch also. 40 per cent of younger girls, aged between 10 and 11, thought they needed to lose weight.
The girls generally preferred to skip breakfast, even though it is thought of as the most important meal of the day.
The survey noted that 26 per cent of 14 and 15-year-old girls missed the first meal of the day.
Also, 20 per cent of 12 and 13-year-olds and seven per cent of 10 and 11-year-olds admitted of avoiding the meal.
Mary George, a spokesman for Beat Eating Disorders, discussed the problems with the habit.
"It is very unwise to skip meals in this way, especially at an age where the body is still developing and requires food for energy," the Telegraph quoted her as telling the Daily Mail.
"Taken to extremes this behavior could possibly lead the way towards an eating disorder which can destroy lives. A healthy diet and sensible exercise is vital."
She added that the young girls are often deceived by "portrayals of unrealistic body images".