According to the NHS, the number of hospital admissions in the UK for teenagers suffering with eating disorders has nearly doubled in the last three years.
In 2010/11 there were 959 admissions and by 2013/14 this had jumped up to 1,815. Aside from the alarming 89% rate of increase, experts are also concerned about the fact that there are a large number of cases that go unreported and undiagnosed.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has confirmed that they are seeing an unprecedented rise in the number of eating disorder sufferers and are concerned about the sometimes fatal consequences of vulnerable teenagers putting themselves under too much pressure to look good.
Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest sources of blame for this increase is the pressure that young teenagers are feeling when comparing themselves to images they are seeing online. With hundreds of thousands of photos being uploaded to the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram every day, youngsters are facing a constant bombardment of people sporting ‘perfect looking’ bodies.
Doctor Carolyn Nahman from the Royal College of Psychiatrists commented:
“Literally with one click of a button, very vulnerable young people are able to access 10,000 images of ‘perfect looking’ people which places them under a lot of pressure. Young people who look at these images often develop body image dissatisfaction and low self esteem because they’re constantly comparing themselves to these perfect images. This is a risk factor for disordered eating and more serious eating disorders which can prove fatal.”
If you think that you or someone you know may be suffering with an eating disorder, please feel free to visit our Eating Disorder Treatment page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today for help.