An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder, and research from the NHS shows up to 6.4% of adults display signs of an eating disorder.
This year, Eating Disorder Awareness Week takes place from 26 February to 4 March, and the campaign focuses around the question ‘Why Wait?’
On average, there is a three week gap between symptoms of an eating disorder emerging and people seeking help. In 2017 nearly half of those polled who suffered from an eating disorder felt that their family and friends couldn’t spot the symptoms of a disorder.
However, the sooner someone seeks treatment, the sooner they can start recovery.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, from medical complications associated with the illness as well as suicide. Research has shown that 20% of anorexia sufferers will die prematurely.
Beat is the UK’s eating disorder charity, and is spearheading the campaign to get more people to talk about eating disorders. They are also petitioning the Government to extend the current waiting times targets that exist for CAMHS in England to ensure people of all ages can access eating disorder treatment as soon as they need it. Parliament will debate eating disorders and early intervention on Tuesday.
If you are suffering from an eating disorder, or believe someone you know is, the most important thing you can do is talk about it. Although very serious, are treatable conditions and full recovery is possible.
For more information, visit Beat.