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Worrying number of Danes struggle with eating disorders

Few get psychiatric help and there isn't any state-funded help


Eating disorders aren't only about being thin. An over-obsession with being muscular or healthy is also a disorder, experts say (Photo: Colourbox)

June 13, 2014
15:51

by Nanna G Vansteelant


An extremely high number of Danes suffer from an eating disorder, but fewer than five percent get any form of psychiatric help.

The country’s patient registry shows that 75,000 Danes suffer from an eating disorder and another 80,000 are at risk of developing one.

READ MORE: Low-carb diets causing food-phobic kids

Anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, orthorexia (an excessive preoccupation with being healthy) and megarexia (an overcoming desire to be muscular) are disorders that should receive state-funded psychological help, just as for people suffering from depression or anxiety, Steen Andersen told Politiken. His work for the National Association against eating disorders and self-harm (LMS) includes defining the classic eating-disorder symptoms, which include eating alone, extreme focus on food, extreme focus on exercise, hiding one's body, isolation, a lack of concentration and restlessness, low self-esteem, moodiness and other physical signs.

Charlotte Fischer, director of the Danish regions psychiatry and social network, told Politikken that people with eating disorders do not receive enough help.

“It is scary that so many people suffer from eating disorders, and that more and more are getting sick. We have to implement preventative measures.”

She strongly agrees with the idea that eating disorders should give access to state-funded psychological help. 



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