Sumary of Anorexia spiked during the pandemic, as adolescents felt the impact of COVID restrictions:
- It has also increased mental health concerns, with a rise in levels of distress, anxiety and depression.
- Some young people have also changed their eating and exercise habits.
- This includes those with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, a restrictive eating disorder that affects mainly adolescent girls.
- We’ve seen an increase in the number of adolescents seeking treatment for anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders, including a 63% jump at our clinic in Melbourne.
- Decreased bone density can leave people at risk of fracture, altered blood vessel properties may predispose them to heart disease, and fertility problems may be detected when patients attempt to have children.
- Anxious teenage girls at higher risk of eating-disorder symptoms Many people continue to battle with negative thoughts and feelings towards food even if they’re able to reach a healthy body weight.
- Rise in presentations mirrored restrictions My research, published recently in the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, shows presentations to the Royal Children’s Hospital eating disorder service increased by 63% during 2020 compared to the previous three years.
- Presentations went from an average of 99 in 2017-2019 to 161 in 2020. The clinic mainly treats restrictive eating disorders, which affect the person’s ability to get enough nutrients to sustain the key functions of their body;