Eating disorders are serious conditions with both psychological and physical complications. They are becoming increasingly common. It is estimated that 3.4 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder; up to 15% of young women and 5.5% of young men.

The most common age of onset is mid-adolescence, ranging from 15 – 25 years and so these patients can present to both adult and paediatric emergency services.

Although eating disorders are classified as mental disorders, the physical complications can be life-threatening. Mortality rates for people with eating disorders are almost twice as high compared to the general population. In the adolescent group anorexia nervosa has a higher mortality than other serious adolescent diseases such as asthma or type 1 diabetes.

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