TEENAGE girls in east London are damaging their health by poor diets, a study in Hackney suggests. A quarter of the 75 girls surveyed had intakes of calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and riboflavin below recommended daily levels. Three-quarters of both boys and girls in the study were not getting enough fibre, but girls were eating more sweets and fatty foods than boys. The main sources of energy for both were chips, bread and confectionery. A third ate no fresh fruit and four- fifths ate no vegetables other than potatoes.

The authors of the report, published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, said that if the girls continued to eat such a poor diet into adulthood and during pregnancy it could affect the health of their children.