Children as young as five are being treated for eating disorders, according to new figures, but one charity tells Channel 4 News it would be ‘very surprised’ if children that young had anorexia.
More than 2,000 children have received treatment for eating disorders in the past three years.
Statistics show that nearly 600 children under the age of 13 were treated in hospital in England, including 197 aged between five and nine, after developing eating disorders.
About three in every 100,000 children under 13 in the UK and Ireland have some sort of eating disorder, according to a study conducted by experts from University College London’s Institute for Child Health.
Some NHS hospitals treating such patients refused to provide any data while others would only release figures for children admitted after becoming dangerously thin, excluding those undergoing psychiatric therapy as outpatients.
The findings come after experts called earlier this year for urg
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