SHOCKING statistics have been released by the NHS which show that 2,039 children across the UK are waiting for treatment for their eating disorder to start – with some of these in the North West. Most worryingly, 10% of those still waiting are classed by the NHS themselves as ‘urgent cases’.
Social media use is ever increasing amongst young adults and has previously been shown to have negative effects on body image, depression, social comparison, and disordered eating.
Eating disorder experts UKAT state that the number of under-19s waiting for their eating disorder treatment to start in the first quarter of this year is three times as many as were waiting in the same timeframe in 2020.
The number urgent cases still waiting for treatment has risen by a staggering 60% since the previous quarter alone, a trend UKAT’s Eating Disorder Practitioner Dimitra Theofili says should be going in the opposite direction.
Dimitra Theofili said: “There are now more children than ever who require urgent treatment for an eating disorder, but who are still waiting for treatment to start. This simply isn’t good enough, because time is the enemy for a person with an eating disorder.
"We must remember that these are children who have bravely asked for help, but who still, some 12 weeks later, aren’t getting the potentially life-saving help they need. Eating disorders are progressive illnesses, and so the sufferers simply don’t have the time to wait for help. Today’s report must be a wake-up call, and these children must get the help they need now.”
For 24/7 confidential and instant help with eating disorders, visit ukat.co.uk/eating-disorders/v109/