01 Mar 2021

It is my great pleasure to welcome the start of the Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2021 on behalf of the Mental Health Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association.

Many of us have been forced to adapt to new ways of working over the last year, whether that be utilising online platforms or practicing social distancing with increased personal protective equipment. Nothing could prepare us for adapting our dietetic practice so rapidly or the surge of people with eating disorders emerging from long periods of isolation. Uncertainty about the future has now been added alongside the many complex factors within the development of an eating disorder.

You may have seen the news reports and recently published journals showing an increase of hospital admissions and referrals to services across the nation in relation to Anorexia Nervosa, which is reflective in our growing demand in the NHS. It is also well known that many have undiagnosed Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorders that often are untreated, which no doubt will be increasing - but is often not as well documented in the news.

Binge Eating Disorders are the most common but least understood eating disorder, which is why UK Charity Beat has chosen this as their theme for this year’s Eating Disorders Awareness Week. If you haven’t already, check out their resources, videos, digital toolkit and many other links which we can utilise and share to start the conversation.

This week also serves as an opportunity to highlight resources, helplines and also the incredible work of our dietetic workforce who continue to work amongst new challenges that we are faced with. We invite you to share your stories and journeys, as well as your ideas for raising awareness this week via our forums and Twitter and Instagram pages.

Have a great week!

#EDAW #EatingDisorderAwarenessWeek #YouMightKnowMe

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Parissa Dunkinson RD, BSc, MSc

Specialist Dietitian for Children and Adolescent Eating Disorders, Professional Development Officer for Eating Disorders BDA MHSG