London: Almost a quarter of children under 10 are dieting as they consider themselves overweight, according to a shocking new survey.

The poll of 1,500 young people aged seven to 18 also revealed some 28 percent have been bullied because of their weight, while 26 percent have skipped a meal in the hope of losing some pounds.

It also found that more than 40 percent of under-10s worry about their weight and almost a quarter have been on a diet in the past year, reported a daily.

Two thirds of this age group admits to weighing themselves, with 37 percent doing so regularly. And 38 percent say they are influenced by a "diet obsessed society," according to the survey carried out by online survey companies, Onepoll and Youngpoll.

Among youngsters aged 11 to 13, 34 percent are not happy with their weight and 61 percent worry about it, 45 percent have been on a diet, including 15 percent in the last year.

Some 77 percent of this age group weigh themselves, with half doing so regularly. And 44 percent have been the victim of bullying over their size while 51 percent say they are influenced by society's expectations.

Of all the age groups, 13 percent say they are on a constant diet, while more than a quarter have visited anorexia websites and 5 percent do so  on a regular basis.

More than half of girls surveyed said they want to be a size 10 or smaller when they are older.