In the UK, about 1.6 million people suffer from eating disorders. This costs the economy around £1.3 billion annually, however, only 50% of the cases are diagnosed as bulimia or anorexia due to the strict guidelines implemented by the NHS. The other 50% are diagnosed with an eating disorder known as Ednos and this means that they face longer waiting periods for treatment.
This rejection of the problem sees the condition of many patients deteriorate as they wait for help from the NHS. This decision has affected students in particular as it causes them to miss classes and extends their time at university.
These young people have fallen through the gap as they are not receiving adequate, effective support during their transition period to university. Many of them are left to find their feet on their own and it is up to the parents to act as support workers for their offspring.
Many patients who desperately need treatment are being placed at the bottom of the general practitioner waiting lists. This occurs if they miss appointments because of other obligations, such as exams. Some of the patients do not bother to return to their GPs as they feel that their situation is not viewed as being serious enough.
According to research that has been done previously, eating disorders are more prevalent during adolescence and early childhood. This is around the period when student move on to higher education. Research has indicated that university students are prone to develop eating disorders at a faster, higher rate than the rest of the population.
It has been found that recovery can be achieved, but this only applies to approximately half of adults who suffer from anorexia.
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