The largest ever study of eating disorders has been launched by scientists at King's College London in a bid to better understand the condition.

It's hoped the findings from the Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) will help design new treatments for patients.

Researchers are aiming to recruit at least 10,000 people across England who have experienced an eating disorder at some point in their life.

An estimated 1.25 million people in the UK are affected by eating disorders.

A study by Bristol University found teenage girls with anxiety are potentially at greater risk of developing eating disorders. Credit: PA

Those behind the project say it will look to identify "genetic and environmental risk factors" around disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating.

Eating disorders currently have the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric disorders and less than half of individuals reach full recovery according to the Anorexia & Bulimia Care organisation.

The study is the joint project of King's College London, the National Institute for Health Research, BioResource, and the eating disorder charity Beat.

The group is appealing for participants willing to join the study.

Geneticist and study lead, Professor Gerome Breen, said: "We want to make research into eating disorders faster, cheaper and more effective to meet desperate need for more effective treatments."

Volunteers can sign up online at edgiuk.org.

Potential participants will need to complete a 15-20 minute online questionnaire and supply a saliva sample by post.

If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder, the following links can provide support and useful advice: