The number of people being admitted to hospital for eating disorders in England has almost doubled in six years.
Figures from NHS Digital show that admissions for bulimia and anorexia in England rose from 7,260 between April 2010 and 2011 to 13,885 in the year to April 2017.
The number of admissions for anorexia in women and girls under 18 went up from 961 to 1,904 in the same period.
The NHS describes the four most common eating disorders as
:: Anorexia nervosa – trying to keep weight as low as possible by not eating enough food, exercising too much, or both.
:: Bulimia – Sometimes losing control and eating a lot of food in a very short amount of time (binging) and then being deliberately sick, using laxatives, restricting what is eaten, or doing too much exercise to try to stop weight gain.
:: Binge eating disorder (BED) – regularly losing control of eating, eating large portions of food all at once until feeling uncomfortably full, and then feeling upset or guilty.
:: Other specified feeding or eating disorder (OSFED) – when symptoms don’t exactly match those of anorexia, bulimia or binge eating disorder.
The NHS has been set a government target of providing treatment within one week for 95% of children and young people referred as urgent cases of an eating disorder by 2020.
A Department of Health spokesman said: “We are committed to ensuring everyone with an eating disorder has access to timely treatment.
“We know the numbers seeking treatment are rising and it’s encouraging to see an increase in patients getting routine care within four weeks, as well as a significant improvement in treatment times compared to last year.
“Inpatient treatment should be seen as a last resort, that’s why we have set out plans to expand community-based care for eating disorders – 70 dedicated community eating disorders services are being developed and recruitment to get the teams up to full capacity is under way.”