Teenage girls are starving themselves and seriously risking their health in order to be a "size zero", according to a recent UK study.
The UK's Food Standards Agency found that teenage girls are resorting to "size zero" diets, which are low in protein and dairy foods, in an effort to be as thin as celebrities such as Kate Moss, and
Victoria Beckham, the UK's Daily Mail reported.
The study found that 46 percent of teens consume too little iron, putting them at risk of anaemia, which causes tiredness and lethargy. They are also lacking magnesium and selenium, which can lead to insomnia, severe headaches and mood swings.
The majority are also not consuming enough oily fish, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and promotes brain and heart health. And only seven percent of the girls were getting the recommended servings of two fruit and five vegetables a day.
The agency's nutrition expert Alison Tedstone said teenage girls don't eat enough.
"For example, they don't have enough dairy. We are talking about a poor quality of diet overall. Everyone recognises this is a group that needs to do better," she said.
The report also found that on the other end of the spectrum, a third of teenage girls are overweight and a fifth are obese.
Professor Janet Treasure, an eating disorders expert at King's College London, said that a desire to look like super-skinny celebrities could be leading young girls to swing between starving themselves and binge eating.
"Controlling weight and shape has become a moral imperative for many young girls," she told the Daily Mail. "It's almost a sign of goodness to be slim," she said.
"There is a risk of getting into a starve-and-binge routine which is very unhealthy and has been rapidly increasing in recent generations."
Supermodel Moss sparked controversy last year when she said in an interview "nothing tastes as good as skinny feels".