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Eating Disorders: Health Education

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Ian Lavery Ian Lavery Co-National Campaign Coordinator, Shadow Minister (Cabinet Office), Party Chair, Labour Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he is taking steps to ensure that public health campaigns (a) take into account the welfare of people affected by eating disorders and (b) do not (i) inadvertently reinforce unhealthy thoughts and (ii) trigger harmful behaviour in those people; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Nadine Dorries Nadine Dorries The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Messaging in public health campaigns aimed at healthy eating and physical activity is developed with guidance from Public Health England’s (PHE’s) nutritionists and tested with stakeholders and target groups such as parents and children. Change4Life recommends that those with special dietary requirements, medical needs, eating disorders or who require specialised nutrition advice, seek guidance from a registered health-care professional which can be found at the following link:

PHE is currently not undertaking any marketing activity aimed at adults around eating behaviours.

In addition, PHE’s Rise Above social marketing programme aims to help build resilience and support the good mental health of young people aged 10 to 16. It delivers video resources enabling self-care, developed with guidance from PHE and independent experts in young people’s health. These are tested with young people to ensure they do not normalise or trigger unhealthy or harmful behaviours. These resources can be viewed at the following link:

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