The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on many people, but now new research shows that it is proving particularly challenging for those suffering from eating disorders.

Research carried out by the Department of Psychology at Northumbria University found that the pandemic and isolation as a result of the lockdown, have introduced “additional, unique challenges” for people who are battling with an eating disorder.

In a survey conducted among those currently experiencing or in recovery from an eating disorder, 87 per cent stated that their symptoms had worsened due to the pandemic.

Among the negative impacts identified by the researchers were a decrease in the level of control people felt, feeling increasingly socially isolated, having low feelings about social support and rising levels of rumination about disordered eating.

Research associate on the study Dr Dawn Branley-Bell commented: “Individuals with experience of eating disorders will likely experience a long-term effect on their symptoms and recovery [as a result of the pandemic].”

She added that making sure the required support is provided to these patients will be essential to help them as they continue to recover.

The government recently launched its new Better Health strategy to encourage people in the UK to lose weight as obesity is a risk factor for so many diseases. However, as CNN reported, there is concern among many who suffer from or are recovering from eating disorders about some of the proposals.

One that could be triggering for the 1.25 million people living with eating disorders in the UK is including calories on menus. This is still at the proposal stage, but many have expressed worries about this approach.

If you’re looking for the support of a qualified dietician to help you as you recover from any eating disorder, get in touch with us to find out how we can help you as an eating disorder nutritionist.

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