Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023: services and places for sufferers to get help

This year’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs until March 5, is focusing on men  (PA Archive)
This year’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs until March 5, is focusing on men (PA Archive)

Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) is an international awareness event aiming to remove the stigma, misunderstandings and myths behind eating disorders. These include anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder (BED) or eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS).

The NHS says an eating disorder is a mental health condition where you use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations.

Unhealthy eating behaviours may include consuming too much or too little, or worrying about your weight or body shape.

How many people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder?

Anyone can get an eating disorder, but teenagers between 13 and 17 are mostly affected.

Around one in 50 people in the UK suffer with one, but fortunately recovery is possible.

By being more aware of different eating disorders, early signs and getting involved in Eating Disorders Awareness Week, more knowledge and support can be given to sufferers.

When is Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2023?

EDAW 23 started on Monday, February 27 and will run until Sunday, March 5.

What is this year’s theme?

The 2023 theme will be shining a spotlight on men who suffer with eating disorders.

Around one in four people with an eating disorder are men, yet most emphasis is placed on women.

Another problem with eating disorders among men is that many do not seek help for fear of how they will be viewed. This aligns with the trend that many men don’t talk about their problems.

The charity Beat Eating Disorders launched the UK’s biggest survey to understand men’s experience with eating disorders better.

It found that one in three men have never accessed treatment, one in five had never spoken about their struggles, and four in five believed that raising awareness would allow for earlier treatment for men.

The former England cricket captain, Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, bravely revealed his battle with bulimia in a BBC documentary in 2020.

How to get help for eating disorders

The NHS offers services to help with eating disorders in your area by visiting the following section of its website and searching for ‘eating disorders support’.

Other organisations offering support include: