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  1. ITV Report

Bristol woman campaigning to raise awareness of link between anorexia and autism

Sophie McInnes is trying to raise awareness of the link between anorexia and autism Credit: ITV News

A woman from Bristol who ended up needing hospital treatment after losing dangerous amounts of weight is warning others about the link between autism and anorexia.

Sophie McInnes lost a quarter of her body weight before needing urgent medical care at Southmead Hospital.

She was subsequently diagnosed with autism which she says contributed to her obsession with controlling the food she ate.

Now at 24 she is using her experience to warn others.

Sophie had to be tube fed when her health was at its worst Credit: ITV News

At a dangerously low weight, Sophie needed to be tube fed and was diagnosed with anorexia and autism.

Sophie says her anorexia could have been avoided if her autism had been diagnosed sooner.

She's calling for more understanding of the early signs of autism in young girls.

Sophie has said her anorexia could have been avoided if here autism was diagnosed earlier in her life Credit: ITV News

Autism is commonly associated with young boys and many of the diagnostic tests are suited to boys or young men.

But over the last 10 years experts say more women and young girls have come forward sharing their experience of autism and eating disorders.

Carol Povey, Director of the Centre of Autism, says this is a link that needs to be further researched.

8,000
Women experience anorexia every year in the UK
1 in 5
Women who are anorexic are also autistic

According to the charity Autistica, 8,000 women in the UK every year experience anorexia, with 1 in 5 women who are anorexic also autistic.

Carol says this understanding needs to be shared.

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