Public Health England has today released its report showing the trends in numbers of hospital admissions as a result of eating disorders in young people across England, revealing that there were more admissions in 2017/18 than in any of the preceding years.

There were 2,196 hospital admissions for eating disorder of children and young people aged 10 to 24 years in 2017/18. 2,006 – an overwhelming 91%- of these were of girls, and 1,326 of these were of girls aged 13 to 17 years.

The report breaks the number of hospital admissions down by specific age and gender, and shows that across all ages, more girls are admitted to hospital than boys.

Admissions for girls aged just 10 years old have increased by 146%, from 13 in 2013/14 to 32 last year and for 12 year old girls, by 93% (from 60 to 116 in the same time period).

The report states that although bulimia is more common among children and young people, it is anorexia which accounts for the larger proportion of hospital admissions, fueling concern from leading addiction treatment experts at UKAT.

“Eating disorders in young people and children in particular is extremely concerning because they’re more likely to develop extensive physical and psychiatric problems in the long term as a result of their eating disorder” suggests UKAT’s Group Treatment Lead, Nuno Albuquerque, who has vast experience of treating eating disorders.

Public Health England’s report also raises concern about hospital admissions in young boys, showing that back in 2013/14, only 1 10 year old boy was admitted to hospital but in 2017/18, there were 9 and for 14 year old boys, 14 were admitted in 2013/14 which has risen by 178% to 39 in 2017/18.

Nuno concludes; “We believe that social media and celebrity idolisation has a lot to do with the rise in eating disorders stemming from body image issues, but there’s also a much deeper societal issue with children experiencing the deficit of attachment from parents.”


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