New figures from Public Health England (PHE) show that the number of children and young people in England hospitalised for eating disorders rose by more than 8 per cent in 2017/2018 compared to 2016/2017.
Hospital Episode Statistics show that there were 2196 hospital admissions for eating disorders in people aged 10-24 years, with vast majority being girls (n=2006). The highest number of cases in boys was at 14 years of age (n=39), while the highest number in girls occurred at 15 years of age (n=365).
Worryingly, the rate of admissions for pre-teens with eating disorders continues to rise from 151 in 2015/2016 to 197 in 2016/2017 and 222 in 2017/2018, representing a 12.7 per cent increase between 2017/2018 and 2016/2017. In 2017/2018, 44 boys aged 10-12 years were hospitalised; for 10-12-year-old girls, the figure was 178.
The number of 10-year-olds admitted to hospital for eating disorders jumped by 24 per cent from 2016/2017 (n=33) to 2017/2018 (n=41).
Hospitalisations among boys have also shown an increasing trend over the last three years for which data are available. In 2015/2016, 159 boys between the ages of 10 and 24 years were admitted to hospital for eating disorders. This figure rose to 176 in 2016/2017 and 190 in 2017/2018.