Saturday 24 September 2016

Eating disorders not a teen phase

Published 07/07/2015 | 02:30

Bulimia is a major problem in young women
Bulimia is a major problem in young women

Nearly one in five calls to an eating disorders helpline last year came from children aged 14 and under.

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Some 200,000 people in Ireland have eating disorders, according to the support group Bodywhys.

It said 18pc of calls made to its helpline last year came from children aged 14 and under, with 3pc of these made by children aged less than 10 years.

Some 22pc of calls came from teenagers aged between 15 and 18, while the highest proportion - 27pc - were from age 25-35 years.

Harriet Parsons, Bodywhys' Service Coordinator, said that "contrary to the myth, eating disorders are not a teenage phase". Six in 10 calls relate to anorexia, 18pc to binge eating and 17pc to bulimia. Nine in 10 of the callers were women. One in three had the eating disorder for at least 10 years.

LoCall helpline 1890 200 444.

Treatment usually involves monitoring a person's physical health while helping them with the underlying psychological causes.

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