Eating disorder admissions increased during COVID-19 pandemic – Contemporary Pediatrics

by | Nov 18, 2022 | COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an increase in adolescents with eating disorders (EDs), according to a recent study.Adolescents often have a greater risk of experiencing negative effects from EDs, as their brains could be negatively affected while in vital stages of development. ED care in the United States cost $64.7 billion in 2020, and up to 10% of individuals in the United States suffer from an ED.These EDs include bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and restrictive food intake disorder. They can lead to major health consequences such as bradycardia and electrolyte disturbances from malnutrition. In severe cases, individuals may need hospitalization.Anxiety, depression, and substance use are often seen with and affect EDs. EDs have also been associated with increased risk of death, which has largely been contributed to suicidality. Intensive treatment is often necessary to treat EDs, which is not accessible to many.Studies have indicated an increase in anxiety and depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic, along with symptoms of EDs such as purging, binge eating, increased caloric restriction, and compulsive exercise. Investigators have proposed that disruptions to routines, uncertainty about the future, inconsistent access to food, and increased time in triggering environments could have led to these behaviors.To understand how the …

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