3rd March 2022

Disordered eating (also known as eating disorders) is a mental health condition where food can be used as a coping mechanism to deal with emotions, feelings, and other situations. Disordered eating can afflict people of all ages, genders, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic statuses.  

People with eating disorders may engage in unhealthy eating habits such as overeating, undereating or obsessing over their weight or body form. These behaviours that can sometimes be unseen or hidden can cause damage to childhood, relationships, and families. However, recovery is achievable with the correct treatment and support. 

Here are some general facts about eating disorders: 

  • Teenagers and young adults are most at risk of developing an eating disorder.  
  • An eating disorder can last an average of six years. 
  • According to NHS figures, children under 18 accounted for 25% of admissions to UK hospitals for eating disorders in 2018/19. 
  • In the United Kingdom, 10% of people will live with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. 

Here are a few signs when looking out for eating disorders: 

  • Are they food-obsessed? 
  • Is there behaviour constantly changing? 
  • Do they have distorted perceptions of their body size? 
  • Are they frequently exhausted or unable to concentrate? 
  • Do they go to the bathroom after each meal? 
  • Have they started exercising excessively? 

A recent survey was released by the eating disorder charity, BEAT, showing that 69% of people with eating disorders didn’t feel as if their GP knew how to help them. If at any point you're concerned that someone you care about is showing indications of an eating disorder, we're here to help. We provide people with a 30-minute assessment within one week of making an enquiry and then weekly, three-hour counselling sessions begin immediately after.  

You can find out more information on how we support people living with an eating disorder on this page or call us on 0300 365 0304. We’re here to help.