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Eating disorders affect 1.6 million people in the UK


An estimated one in five suffering from eating disorders eventually die
29th September 2010: Eating disorders affect 1.6 million people in the UK; some of them are immigrants.
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The charity, Beat, estimates a fifth of those suffering from eating disorders eventually die from associated health problems.

The findings come soon after the first national `Service of Dedication’ for lives lost to eating disorders was held in London’s Southwark Cathedral.

As many as 300 persons were present at the service, including those with disorders and families of those who died; and 100 candles were lit in memory of lives lost.

The event was organised to raise awareness of mortality rates. The service was led by Canon Ian Ainsworth-Smith, a psychotherapist with experience of working with people suffering from eating disorders.

It was also revealed people with eating disorders are more likely to die, than ones with any other mental illness.

A matron at an NHS maternity unit, Lee, said anorexia kills people; and it isn’t just a fad. It isn’t about boys and girls trying to be thinner and look like supermodels. It is a psychiatric illness.

As of now, the coalition government has made it clear that it is committed to tackle eating disorders in England. A Department of Health spokeswoman said the service of dedication shines a spotlight on the devastating effects of eating disorders on sufferers and their families.

It is very important that people with an eating disorder get the help and support that they need from the NHS.

GPs are expected to use NICE guidance on choosing the most appropriate treatments, from physical and psychological treatments to medicines.

She said patients should be able to access joined-up care, including emergency and intensive inpatient treatment for the most serious cases.

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