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24 January 2007

MSP Highlights Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson has highlighted the importance of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which takes place 4th – 10th February.

Commenting on the initiative, Mr Stevenson said:

“I applaud this campaign as it is of vital importance that the views of the young people who are so much at risk from these serious, life threatening conditions are listened to. It must also be noted that it is not solely a young person’s disease. Anyone can develop an eating disorder regardless of age, race, gender or background. Nevertheless, young women are the most vulnerable, particularly between the ages of 15-25 years.

“Research suggests that a person's genetic make up may make them more likely to develop an eating disorder. As well as biological reasons, a key person - a parent or relative, for instance - may adversely influence other family members through his or her attitudes to food.

“In situations where there are high academic expectations or social pressures, a person may focus on food and eating as a way of coping with these stresses. Some people also find they are affected by an urge to harm themselves or abuse alcohol or drugs. Eating, or not eating, is used to help block out painful feelings. Without the right help and treatment, eating problems may continue throughout life.

“Anyone wishing to find out more should contact the Eating Disorders Association via their website: www.edauk.com* or their helpline on 0845 634 1414.”

*UPDATE at 7th May 2013 - as www.edauk.com no longer appears to be active, readers may find http://eating-disorders.org.uk/ useful.
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