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Hospital admissions for eating disorders on the rise

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More and more people are being admitted to hospitals for eating disorders, according to recent UK government figures.

Experts are blaming social media, among other things, as part of the problem.

Last year there was an 8 percent increase in the number of hospital admissions related to conditions like binge eating disorder, anorexia and bulimia, the report stated.

"Most of the 2,560 who went to hospital for inpatient treatment were very young – 15 was the most common age of admission for girls and 13 for boys," reports the Guardian. "But children aged 5 to 9, and the under-5s, were also admitted."

Awareness is growing

UK eating disorder charity Beat hopes the recent figures will help people realize the severity and prevalence of eating disorders.

"With the rise of social media and the celebrity culture, people are being bombarded by these images of what seems to be the ideal body," said Beat's Rebecca Field.

The figures show that three-quarters of patients were admitted for anorexia and about one in 20 for bulimia. About 6 percent of patients stay in the hospital for more than six months, and most of the patients are girls or young women.

Long wait times

Wait times for treatment admissions are still long, Field says.

"We carried out a waiting time survey in October and found 26 percent of people had waiting times of six months or longer," said Field.

According to the government's Health and Social Care Information Centre, most of the patients who were admitted were adolescents who were likely to have short stays followed by inadequate outpatient treatment.

Source: The Guardian

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