Experts blame social media as hospital admissions for young people under the age of 19 who suffer from DOUBLE
The number of teenagers and young children admitted to hospital for eating disorders has increased enormously over the past decade, alarming figures reveal.
The number of admissions for people 18 years or younger has more than doubled from 1,700 in 2010 to 4,500 last year. Shockingly, the number of admissions for children under the age of 13 has tripled since 2010, from 74 to 229.
While Childline reported an increase in calls from young people against eating disorders, experts warned that the food culture of celebrities and social media sites fueled the increase. There is particular concern about pro ana websites that promote anorexia.
The number of admissions for people with eating disorders (file image) aged 18 or younger has more than doubled from 1,700 in 2010 to 4,500 last year
Calls were also made last night for better training to help health workers to recognize signs of eating disorders in young people.
Dr. Agnes Ayton, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “There has been an increase in the diet of children, and although adults may have learned to ignore all diet books and reports about losing weight – especially at this time of the year – are children more influenced by them.
“They are also influenced by celebrities who promote diets on social media, because these people can be role models. For young people who show early signs of eating disorders, their families will tell them they are endangering themselves, but they can find groups of social media that encourage this kind of behavior.
“Healthcare providers need to be better trained in recognizing eating disorders because early diagnosis and treatment can reduce hospital admissions and save lives.”
The number of children under the age of 13 admitted has tripled since 2010, from 74 to 229
The latest figures from NHS Digital show that the number of admissions to eating disorders for children 18 years or younger has more than doubled – from 1,742 in the 2010-11 financial year to 4,540 in the 2018-19 year.
The figures show that in 2018-19 there were 229 hospital admissions for children younger than 13 years. That is more than three times the 74 recorded in 2010-11.
Shockingly enough, there were ten hospital admissions for eating disorders among boys aged nine or younger and six admissions for girls aged nine or younger. There were a further 186 admissions for girls aged 10 to 12 in 2018/19 and 27 for boys aged 10 to 12.
Although the number of eating disorders continues to rise, almost one in six consultant psychiatrists has not been filled
Among those 18 or younger, the most common age for hospital admissions with eating disorders in 2018-19 was between 13 and 15, with 1,056 admissions among girls in this age group and another 53 for boys.
Eating disorders are the most lethal mental disorders, but a recent study found that nearly one in six psychiatric psychiatric functions for eating disorders in England had not been filled.
Tom Quinn, Beat’s Eating Disorder Charity, said, “Eating disorders are extremely complex mental disorders that develop as a result of many risk factors, and social media are never the only and direct cause of someone developing an eating disorder. However, some content on social media can be very harmful to people suffering from an eating disorder.
Between 2017 and 2018, the equivalent of 16 calls a day to the Childline helpline of the NSPCC was made by ailing youngsters who had to deal with conditions such as anorexia and bulimia
“So-called pro ana [anorexia] and pria [bulimia] content helps to perpetuate the diseases for people who are already suffering and is widespread and easily accessible online. “
He said that social media platforms should do more to ensure that this information cannot be placed online, just as with images of self-harm.
Emma Thomas, CEO of the Young Minds charity, said: “Although there have been some improvements in community care for young people with eating disorders in recent years, it can still be difficult for children and young people to get the help they need earlier they had reached a crisis point.
“Getting early support for an eating disorder can prevent problems escalating, which means that young people are more likely to recover completely. The government must make prevention and early intervention a priority for every child struggling with mental health to ensure that they receive help as soon as they need it. “
Many young people are influenced by celebrities who promote diets on social media, because these people can be “role models,” according to Dr. Agnes Ayton of the Royal College of Psychiatrists
Between 2017 and 2018, the equivalent of 16 phone calls per day to the Childline helpline of the NSPCC was made by ailing youngsters who had to deal with conditions such as anorexia and bulimia. Analysis has shown that children from the age of 13 are bombarded with advice on how to hide eating disorders from their loved ones or secretly throw away food.
Claire Murdoch, National Director of Mental Health for the NHS, said: “Waiting times for eating disorder services are better than ever, with nearly 100 new or improved community services set up in recent years with millions of additional funding. It is clear that while the NHS is boosting services through our long-term plan, the dangerous drivers of mental health problems need to be addressed by the rest of society. ”