Eating Disorders: Health Services

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th June 2022.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Conservative, East Worthing and Shoreham

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what estimate he has made of the proportion of the (a) adult and (b) under 18 population of England suffering from an eating disorder; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The ‘2019 Health Survey for England’ indicated that 16% of adults aged 16 years old and over in England received a positive screen for a possible eating disorder or reported that their feelings about food had a significant negative impact on their life.

Data is not held for all those aged under 18 years old. However, for children and young people aged 11 to 16 years old, the ‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2021 - wave 2 follow up to the 2017 survey’ found that 13% screened positive for possible eating problems. For those aged 17 to 19 years old, 58.2% screened positive. However, a positive screening result does not confirm that the child or young person had an eating disorder but indicated an increased likelihood of problems with eating.

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