Weighty matters a worry in the UK

Yet again matters of weight are in the news. This time, Beat, the UK’s biggest eating disorder charity, says too many people with eating disorders feel they are being forced to lose weight so their BMI is low enough to qualify for treatment. weighty

BMI is a calculation used by professionals to assess weight in adults – there is a slightly different method for assessing children and teens, the BBC reported. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence), which writes the guidelines for treatment, says it does not specify a particular level and BMI should not be the sole basis for treatment.

Beat says its helpline is encountering a ‘really significant problem’ of people being denied treatment when their BMI, or body mass index, is considered to be too high.

Statistics show that more than 725,000 men and women in the UK are affected by eating disorders with anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorders being the main conditions.

Professor Chris Fairburn, whose research informs the government guidance on treating eating disorders, told the BBC that BMI should be one of the factors considered by doctors, but added that other factors, such as moods, relationships and overall physical health, should also be taken into account.

“If weight is low that’s serious, but you can have a serious eating disorder and your weight’s normal, you can be suicidal, incredibly distressed, but your weight’s normal,” he said.

He agrees that early intervention is crucial. “Eating problems develop in teens. What we do know is the longer they have it the more secondary problems develop. If we nip it in the bud early, the problems are much more treatable, have much better outcomes.”
This is where hypnotherapy can help.

In the United States, Anad (the National Association for Anorexia and Associated Disorders) says almost 50% of people with eating disorders meet the criteria for depression.

It said while just one in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment, only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialised facility for eating disorders.

The alarming statistics from Anad is that up to 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder) in the US.

When it comes to treating eating disorders and depression, the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) has qualified therapists around the UK who can help. A therapist nearby can be found by using the NCH directory.

The hypnotherapist will offer treatment that is focussed on making healthy changes to the diet and lifestyle that will be permanent – whether the problem is over-eating or not eating enough.

Hypnosis for weight loss is about changing lifelong negative habits around food and body image and the best results are often achieved during a programme of treatment and not in just one or two sessions.

With another recent news report revealing that hospital admissions for teenagers with eating disorders had doubled in the last three years, the Royal College of Psychiatrists says growing pressure from images on social media could play a crucial role.

Again, this is where hypnotherapy can help.