Young people blame bullying for eating disorders

Friday 20th November, 2009

Nearly half of young people with eating disorders blame bullying for their illness, according to new research.

The eating disorder charity ‘Beat’ carried out the largest study of its kind linking the two behaviours. Researchers spoke to over 600 16-25 year-olds suffering with anorexia, bulimia nervosa or overeating.

Of those surveyed, 91% said they had been bullied while 46% said that bullying has contributed to their eating disorder.

Chief executive of Beat, Susan Ringwood, said they’ve been receiving record numbers of texts. emails and calls from young people who believe bullying contributed to their problem.

“We know this is not the case for most people. There are hard-wired factors, it’s in our genetic make-up, it’s in our brain chemistry,” she said

“But it’s also in the things that happen to us… Bullying lowers your self-esteem and having low self esteem is a really big risk factor for an eating disorder developing.”



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