NHS data reveal that a record number are being treated for eating disorder in children.
Nearly 10,000 under-18s started being helped between April and December 2021 — a jump of a quarter on the year before.
The rise could be down to the unpredictability of the pandemic and feelings of isolation, says Professor Prathiba Chitsabesan, NHS England’s clinical director for children.
Parents should be alert for warning signs such as restricting their choices, making strict dietary rules or having a negative self-image.
An extra £79million is being pumped into children’s mental health services.
Mental health director Claire Murdoch said last night: “NHS services remained open throughout the pandemic.
“The NHS continues to see record-high numbers of young people for eating disorders.”