New data shows work needed to hit eating disorder treatment standard

More than a third of children with urgent eating disorders are not beginning treatment within a week as required under a new standard, NHS England data has revealed | HSJ

  • New data shows two-thirds of children and young people with an urgent eating disorder had treatment within a week
  • NHS England data also shows nearly three-quarters of routine eating disorder referrals began treatment within four weeks
  • The data is the first published on children and young people’s eating disorders
  • NHS is expected to treat 95 per cent of urgent cases within a week and 95 per cent of routine cases within four weeks by 2020-21

Rad the full article here

Prevention of eating disorders: A systematic review

Khanh-Dao Le, L. et al. (2017) Clinical Psychology Review. 53,(4) pp. 46–58

Image source: Jasmine Parker – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


  • The review described 13 ED preventive interventions spanning universal, selective and indicated preventive interventions.
  • A bias adjusted meta-analysis is undertaken of 112 articles that evaluated eating disorder prevention interventions.
  • Promising preventive interventions for ED risk factors/ behaviours included cognitive dissonance, cognitive behavioural therapy and media literacy.
  • Combined ED and obesity prevention interventions require further research.
  • Insufficient evidence supported the effect of ED prevention interventions on pre-adolescent children and adults.

Read the full abstract here

Addiction to exercise

Hausenblas, H.A. (2017) BMJ. 357:j1745


What you need to know:

  • Addiction to exercise might form part of a broader eating disorder or may occur in isolation

  • Inability to stop or reduce exercising, for example in response to an injury, may indicate addiction

  • Treatment broadly follows the principles of treating other addictions, for example cognitive behavioural therapy and exercise reprogramming

Read the full article here

The stigma of eating disorders: which interventions might help?

Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions affecting up to 5% of the population over the life-course and bearing some of the highest mortality rates of all psychiatric disorders | By Francesca Solmi for The Mental Elf


It is not uncommon that in public discourse they are trivialised as disorders of volition; the result of media and peer pressures on young girls to achieve unattainable beauty standards. A case in point is last year’s comment by Baroness Joan Bakewell (who afterwards apologised for her remark) suggesting that to suffer from anorexia nervosa is a “sign of the overindulgence of our society, over-introspection, narcissism”.

In this context, a new systematic review on the effectiveness of different types of interventions to reduce stigma towards eating disorders by Doley and colleagues is a much-needed piece of research in an area lacking evidence.

Stigma-reduction strategies

A combination of educational and contact approaches was the most effective approach at reducing attitudinal, affective, and behavioural measures of stigma. No studies directly compared educational and contact approaches, but, overall, studies evaluating the impact of these two approaches individually did not observe improvements in attitudinal stigma after the intervention or found small improvement in behavioural stigma that, however, did not persist at follow-up.

Read the full blog post here

The original research abstract is available here


GPs are failing people with eating disorders, says charity

Half of people with experience of condition rate GPs’ care as poor, survey finds | The Guardian


GPs are routinely failing to provide adequate care to patients with eating disorders, with one in three not referred for specialist assistance, a leading charity has warned.

Beat, the UK’s primary eating disorder charity, found that half of people with some experience of the condition rated GP care as “poor” or “very poor” and 30% were not referred to mental health services after their appointment.

The charity polled 1,700 people, the majority of whom had sought medical help for an eating disorder. Of the 1,267 who had gone to a GP for help, only 34% said they felt their doctor knew how to treat them.

Read the full news story here

Read the survey results from Beat here

Risk factors for eating disorder symptoms at 12 years of age

Evans, E.H. (2017) Appetite. 108. pp. 12–20



  • Body esteem and eating disorder (ED) symptoms were correlated at 12 years.
  • Depressive and ED symptoms were correlated at 12 years in girls.
  • Higher dietary restraint at 7 years predicted ED symptoms at 12 years in boys.
  • Higher ED symptoms at 9 years predicted ED symptoms at 12 years.
  • Preventive efforts for ED symptoms should begin in preadolescence.

Read the full abstract here

The Transition From Thinness-Oriented to Muscularity-Oriented Disordered Eating in Adolescent Males

Murray, S.B. et al. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: 16 December 2016


Purpose: Robust empirical evidence has illustrated a rising prevalence of body dissatisfaction and disordered eating among males, noting that both may be oriented more toward muscularity—as opposed to thinness-oriented concerns. While an elevated prevalence of premorbid anorexia nervosa (AN) has been noted among those with muscle dysmorphia, little evidence has examined the process of this transition from thinness-oriented to muscularity-oriented disordered eating.


Conclusions: Transdiagnostic crossover between thinness-oriented and muscularity-oriented disordered eating represents an important clinical concern, which may be challenging to measure and assess. Implications for treatment are discussed, and the early detection of muscularity-oriented disordered eating.

Read the full abstract here