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08:38 AM

The Wall Street Journal: Eating Disorders Surged Among Adolescents in Pandemic

By Sumathi Reddy

Before the pandemic, Basma O’Neill’s 15-year-old daughter was lean but healthy, with a robust appetite.

But after the coronavirus pandemic hit and schools closed in Graham, Wash., her daughter spent most of her time alone in her room. She wore pajamas and sweats, and ate at different times than her family.

Experts say they have seen the biggest increase during the past year in anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder where people deprive themselves of food. Other disorders being seen include bulimia nervosa, where people binge on food and then try to get rid of it with laxatives or vomiting, and binge-eating disorder, where people consume excessive amounts of food in a short period.

There was no wait list for outpatient treatment at the Eating Disorders Center at Children’s Mercy Kansas City before the pandemic. Now the wait is about six months.

Michaela Voss, the center’s medical director, said many of the adolescents they see had body-image issues or disordered eating before the pandemic. “And then lockdown happened, and they didn’t have anything else to do but to continue with those thoughts, and that’s when it got serious,” she said.


Read the full article via The Wall Street Journal

Learn more about the Eating Disorders Center at Children's Mercy