The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound, negative impact on nine out of ten people with experience of eating disorders, a new study from Northumbria University, Newcastle, reveals.
According to Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Until now, little was known about the impact of the pandemic on this population.
While it is evident that the COVID-19 outbreak is having a significant effect on the global population, research carried out by academics from Northumbria’s Department of Psychology shows that the pandemic raises additional, unique challenges for individuals with eating disorders.
The study comes after calls from the scientific community to investigate the mental health consequences of the pandemic for vulnerable groups, such as the elderly and those with serious mental health conditions, including those with lived experience of eating disorders.
In addition to raising awareness of the impact of the pandemic for those affected by eating disorders, the results have the potential to influence future health service provisions, guidance and policies. The paper has been published in the Journal of Eating Disorders online today.