Body image has emerged as a major influence on the mental health of young people in Ireland, according to a survey conducted by the Dáil na nÓg Council.

The "How We See It" survey among 2,000 young people found that negative body image is considerably more prevalent among girls than boys.

More than half of all the young people surveyed say that their body image interferes with their participation in activities such as swimming, dating, and putting photographs on Facebook.

Girls are up to twice as likely as boys to find it harder to take part in these activities.

However, it also found that two thirds of teenagers are happy with their body image.

The survey found that comparing themselves with others ranks as the most negative influence on girls' body image, while bullying is identified as the most negative influence on boys' body image.

Even though positive body image is higher among boys at every age, the research highlights instances of excessive exercise and use of body-building supplements among some teenage boys.