More eating disorders among youngsters under 16 since the corona crisis

More youngsters under 16 years of age are battling an eating disorder since the corona crisis. That's according to research done by the VRT's current affairs programme "Pano": "It started with skipping breakfast when I was 11."

"In the past, eating disorders were mostly seen at an older age", explains An Vandeputte, the coordinator of the expertise centre Eetexpert. "We see on an international level that all types of eating disorders are increasing. However, there is also a new group of younger patients that are underfed. Though this group is still relatively small, the number of patients is increasing fast." 

Most of them are very young teenage girls with anorexia. Esther is one of them. In the new episode of "Pano" which is will be aired tonight she talks about her problem. "It started with skipping breakfast when I was 11 or 12, which is quite young. I didn't have the best group of friends, though they are not to blame at all. I am a very sensitive person, and I am sensitive to stress. I started eating less and less, and that's how it all began." 

Recovering from an eating disorder takes 7 years on average, says An Vandeputte. "We are talking about a serious matter which has a lot of different impacts." Esther ended up in hospital as she had become too weak. "They focussed on my physical recovery there, but I also had to recover mentally and try to stop the little voice in my head."

Top stories