Eating disorders are a range of conditions that can affect someone physically, psychologically and socially. They are serious mental illnesses and include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder. Over 1.6 million men and women in the UK are affected by eating disorders (B-eat, 2014).
Anyone can develop an eating disorder, regardless of their age, sex or cultural background. Young women are most likely to develop an eating disorder, particularly those aged 12 to 20, but older women and men of all ages can also have an eating disorder. Children as young as seven can develop anorexia and there is a greater proportion of boys in this younger age group.
Eating disorders are complex and there is no one single reason why someone develops an eating disorder. A whole range of different factors combine such as genetic, psychological, environmental, social and biological influences. A number of risk factors need to combine to increase the likelihood that any one person develops the condition.
Eating disorders are complex and not everyone will experience the same symptoms. People will respond differently to treatment and can take different amounts of time to recover. Some people can be affected by more than one type of eating disorder or find their symptoms change in type as they recover.
In 2010 The Welsh Assembly Government committed to funding the development of specialist eating disorder teams in different areas of Wales. These Tier 3 teams sit between Tier 2 Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT’s) and Tier 4 Specialist Inpatient Services across the Health Boards in Wales.
The Eating Disorders Cross-Party Group (EDCPG) within the Welsh Government has also been re-launched under the leadership of Bethan Jenkins AM. This group aims raise and maintain the profile of eating disorders within the Assembly and facilitate cross party discussion and co-operation on issues relating to eating disorders in Wales.
Millstone - Documentary about Eating Disorders in Men - 2015
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