Why Are Eating Disorders On The Rise?
WOMAN'S OWN|October 19, 2021
Hospitalisations among teenagers peaked after the pandemic. We investigate the importance of getting the correct support
Ashleigh Page

As we continue to find a new ‘normal’, we are still dealing with the aftermath of mental-health issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Alongside rising anxiety and increased loneliness, thanks to health worries and isolation, the number of under-20s being hospitalised with eating disorders has risen by 50% since 2019.

In fact, the soaring numbers have left hospitals warning that they are running out of space to care for these patients. Those who were struggling with an already diagnosed eating disorder reported that they relapsed or worsened during lockdown, thanks to halted community support.

It’s reported that 1.25 million people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder, and this continues to rise. We speak to one woman who overcame an eating disorder in her youth about how it is vital young people get the support they need.

I realised what a terrible example I was setting’

Beth Davies, 43, is a women’s health and fitness coach at bethdaviescoaching. co.uk and lives in Leamington Spa with her husband Chris, 48, and their two children Juliette, seven, and Sam, four.

I was 14 when I began to develop an unhealthy relationship with food. I was struggling to accept my changing body, and, while I had lots of friends and a supportive family, I felt alone. Restricting what I ate was my way of taking control. I’d come home from school with my lunchbox still full. ‘I wasn’t hungry,’ I’d lie to my parents.

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