Following the report into the death of teenager Averil Hart, who died from anorexia at the age of 19, the charity Beat has shared their advice on what to look out for and what to do if you're worried about an eating disorder.
Anorexia can cause severe physical problems because of the effects of starvation on the body. It can lead to loss of muscle strength and reduced bone strength.
The illness can affect people’s relationship with family and friends, causing them to withdraw; it can also have an impact on their work or education
Different types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia nervosa - where a person tries to keep their weight as low as possible; for example, by starving themselves or excessive exercise
- Bulimia - where a person goes through periods of binge eating and then forces themselves to be sick or uses laxatives to try and control their weight
- Binge eating disorder - this is characterised by a person feeling compelled to overeat large amounts of food in a short space of tim
Signs and symptoms of an eating disorder:
- Skipping meals
- Complaining of being fat, even though they have a "normal" weight or are underweight
- Repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror
- Eating only certain low-calorie foods
- Feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places
- The use of "pro-anorexia" websites
For more advice: