Eating disorders can kill if people ignore the signs

NHS Nene and NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are taking a stand against eating disorders ahead of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2017 and is raising awareness of the warning signs of this serious illness. 

Eating Disorders Awareness Week is an international event to fight the myths and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders. The week will run from 27 February to 5 March 2017.  Recognising the signs is an important first step for a sufferer or their friends and family and help is on hand to support.

The warning signs to look out for include: *

  • missing meals
  • complaining of being fat, even though they have a normal weight or are underweight
  • repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror
  • making repeated claims that they've already eaten, or they'll shortly be going out to eat somewhere else and avoiding eating at home
  • cooking big or complicated meals for other people, but eating little or none of the food themselves
  • only eating certain low-calorie foods in your presence, such as lettuce or celery
  • feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places, such as at a restaurant
  • the use of "pro-anorexia" websites

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, from medical complications associated with the illness as well as suicide. Research has found that 20% of anorexia sufferers will die prematurely from their illness. Bulimia is also associated with severe medical complications, and binge eating disorder sufferers often experience the medical complications associated with obesity. In every case, eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of the sufferer and those that care for them.

Dr Emma Clancy, Clinical Executive Director for Acute Trust South at NHS Nene CCG, said:

“Eating disorders are life-threatening psychiatric illnesses and can cause heart failure and affect the body's system therefore the illness should be taken very seriously.  People worried about a friend or relative should seek help and support.  There is help available through your GP, or local support groups.“