Reports of major dissatisfaction among adolescent girls over body shape and their associated eating behaviour, prompted determining anthropometric and questionnaire studies on series of rural and urban black, Indian, and white girls aged 14-19 years. Variables were concern over weight, desired weight loss, also practices regarding binge eating, fasting, vomiting and laxative use. Black girls have low weight-for-age, yet experience more obesity than white girls; yet weight reduction, although desired, is seldom seriously attempted. Indian girls have low weight-for-age, principally for genetic, not social class, reasons; they also, even some underweight, desired weight reduction. White girls are also dissatisfied, although less acutely than girls in the US. The current attitudes of South African adolescent girls, apart from extremes, are unlikely to seriously prejudice their health.