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Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2016

Support requests show occurrence of eating disorders not confined to teenagers

Eating Disorders Awareness Week February 22nd-28th 2016


Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland can report in 2015 there was:

  • An 89% increase in helpline calls concerning callers aged 36-55
  • A 13% increase in calls concerning 15-18 year olds affected by an eating disorder
  • Where disclosed, 44% of people who contacted Bodywhys by email and phone have had an eating disorder for over 10 years

Harriet Parsons, Services Manager with Bodywhys said: “In recent years, we have seen a change in the age profile of those who access our support services. This includes increased contacts from adults who are beyond their 20s. There is a lessening in the myth that eating disorders solely affect teenagers or that they are a ‘teenage problem or phase’”.

Parsons added “Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age or gender. They are not about food nor are they a diet. Individuals who are in their mid-30s and up, and who have been living with an eating disorder for many years, are starting to reach out and look for support in ways they may not have done so in the past.”

Parsons said: “As a serious and complex mental health issue, eating disorders can lead to heightened risk in terms of mortality and suicidality. Our message is for anyone who is living with an eating disorder is that they can access support and that their age is not a barrier to being listened to.” said Parsons



People can and do recover from eating disorders


Notes for Editors

  • 200,000 people in Ireland are affected by eating disorders. In real terms, that number means that each of us is likely to know someone who has been affected, yet eating disorders remain an issue that many of us know little about.
  • For information about Eating Disorders Awareness Week, please see


  • Bodywhys is the national voluntary organisation supporting people affected by eating disorders


  • The Department of Health & Children estimates that 200,000 people in Ireland are affected by eating disorders


  • Bodywhys Helpline Number : LoCall 1890 200 444


  • Bodywhys Online Support Groups are available at



For further information, please contact:

Harriet Parsons, Services Co-ordinator

Tel: 01 283 4963