This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which aims to raise awareness of the conditions and their physical, mental and social impacts.
As part of the week, Girlguiding Scotland highlighted some alarming information around the subject.
The charity’s 2015 Girls’ Attitudes Survey found that two in three girls they surveyed knew someone with an eating disorder.
It also found that almost 40% of girls surveyed had a demeaning comment made to them about the way they look.
The survey is a reminder that eating disorders – and the attitudes that can cause them – are still a serious issue for many people in the UK.
Eating disorders aren’t always related to how you think you look, however. Often, they're about coping with difficult feelings. You might use food to help deal with painful emotions or stressful situations, perhaps without always realising that this is the case. Eating disorders don't just happen to young girls, either — anyone can have one, regardless of age or gender.
Asking for help
Remember that you have the right to get help for an eating disorder whoever you are, and shouldn't be discriminated against when you look for it. Remember that when you're getting help, you don't have to tell anyone you don't want to.
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder, finding out about it is a good first step. The four links below can help you find out more, and about the pressures in life that can bring a disorder about.
Beat offers helplines, online support and access to self-help groups for young people with an eating disorder.
ChildLine has advice that can help if you're worried you might have an eating problem.
Eating Disorder Support provides information about recovering from an eating disorder for anyone who has one.
Men Get Eating Disorders Too has a hotline you can call if you are male and are worried about an eating disorder you have or think you might have.