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Eating disorders affect 1.6million people in the UK, that’s around 1 in 39 people. That’s thousands of students studying at university who will be affected by eating disorders.
A recent survey conducted by eating disorder charity Beat found nearly seven in 10 (69%) said they had faced difficulties accessing treatment while at university. Just under one in five (18%) said that had dropped out of their studies because of their eating disorder, while nearly two fifths (39%) said they had taken a break.
The survey has formed the basis of an awareness raising campaign at universities to ensure student support services have the information they need to help and support students with an eating disorder.
Without help, students with eating disorders risk dropping out of their studies warns Beat, which campaigns on behalf of sufferers.
A survey of just over 200 students with eating disorders found 32% were diagnosed after starting their course. Almost a fifth (18%) said their condition had forced them to drop out of their degree course. Another 39% had to take a break from their studies.
More than half (52%) of those surveyed said their university was not doing enough to support students with eating disorders or to identify those at risk and intervene to help them.
Nearly seven in 10 (69%) said they had struggled to access treatment while at university.
A leaflet aimed at students outlines ways friends can support those with eating disorders and help get them the support they need. The leaflet outlines signs of an eating disorder in a friend and how to approach someone about getting help.
The leaflet emphasises that no one chooses to get an eating disorder and that recovery is possible