Half of anorexia sufferers develop eating disorder by 10 years

Last Updated : 08 October 2010, 09:21 IST

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A survey found thousands of young girls are affected by eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia - conditions that are normally associated with teenagers.

Family traumas such as parents divorcing are fuelling eating problems at primary schools.
The study, by support group Overeaters Anonymous GB, found 53 percent of sufferers who said they first developed a problem with food at 10 or under, reports the Daily Mail.

Just under a third (29 percent) said they were 11 to 15 when their anorexia began. A spokesman said: "Some might find the results of the survey shocking."

"But, as our members have underlined, it is not uncommon for us to see people who developed an eating disorder before they reached their teens." The organisation quizzed 250 sufferers through their website.

Mary George, a spokesperson for Beat, the leading charity for eating disorders, said: "Sadly these survey results are not that surprising. We are finding that people being treated for anorexia are getting younger and younger."

"We conducted a similar study earlier this year and found the average age of developing the condition was just 12-year-old. There was even a case of a six-year-old showing signs of the illness."

The latest survey found more than half blamed their condition on family traumas such as divorce or the loss of a loved one.

Published 08 October 2010, 09:21 IST

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