Children with eating disorders slipping through the net
adolescents with eating disorders could be slipping through the net
because of a serious lack of specialist dietitians, warns the
British Dietetic Association (BDA), which is discussing the issue at
their annual conference.
With around 1.1 million reportedly suffering from eating disorders
in the UK, of which a very high percentage are young people,
paediatric dieticians are being trained to cope with the increase in
patients being referred to them. A recent study also found that 18%
of school children who took part in 2 health surveys carried out a
year apart admitted they had eating problems and that students who
had ongoing eating problems were more likely to report multiple
psychological problems and health complaints.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are most common amongst girls
and young women generally developing between the ages of 15 and 25
years, although they can occur at any age, even as young as 7 or 8
years. Research shows that treatment initiated quickly after
symptoms first become apparent prevents the disease becoming chronic
in adulthood, when the condition has an extremely debilitating
affect on sufferers and their families.
In some parts of the country, especially in Wales where to date
there are no commissioned services for eating disorders and in the
north of England there are currently no specialist dieticians and of
those dieticians in post many are only funded on a part time basis.
As a result, patients are either not getting any vital dietetic
input, or non-specialist health professionals are managing them as
best they can.
Delegates at the conference will be told that more specialist
dieticians are desperately needed to improve the treatment of these
patients. They will also advise general dieticians on the
limitations they have in terms of time to spend with this demanding
client group, multi-disciplinary working, risk management, family
working and specialist training and experience.
Dieticians play a critical role with these patients and their
families on food related issues and helping young people meet their
nutritional needs, thus enabling other health professionals in child
and adolescent mental health and eating disorder services to work on
the underlying issues of the disorder.
Speaking at the Conference, Claire Mellors, an eating disorders
specialist dietician based in Nottingham, said:- “Eating
disorders are a psychiatric illness that mostly starts in
adolescents. This is especially true of the low weight eating
disorders which have an average age at onset of the disease of 15
years. So it is important that professionals working in this field
are experienced, trained and supervised well. While the
importance of specialist dietitians in the area is well recognised
at policy level it is not filtering down and being implemented via
funding, support and recognition of these specific dietetic posts
which are fundamental to the treatment of children with eating
Media enquiries to The British Dietetic Association should be
directed to our media hotline on 0870 580 2517 or
Europe signs up to a Constitution
drinkers have reached agreement where national governments have
failed. The national beer consumer groups from 13 countries will
meet on 24 June to sign the European Beer Consumers Union’s (EBCU)
The chairs of the current 13 national member organisations will sign
the Constitution of EBCU which encapsulates the aims and objectives
of the federation which represents over 130,000 beer drinkers across
Europe at the Brewers of Europe House, in Brussels.
The European Beer
Consumers Union (EBCU) will also be celebrating 18 years of
existence having been founded in Bruges in 1990. Whilst
consolidation amongst the world’s brewers continues, and global beer
brands dominate the market; Europe’s beer consumers are working hard
to ensure that there will still be a wide choice of craft brewed
beers available for future generations.
“In a climate where the big brewers continue to get bigger and
bigger and lose all contact with their original routes, axing local
beer brands and closing breweries it is essential that the beer
drinkers of Europe stand up for local quality beer and fight to
protect and promote Europe’s beer heritage. The latest proposed
mega-merger, between InBev and Anheuser-Busch will, if it succeeds,
create a brewer with almost 25% share of the world beer market. How
many more local beer brands will be lost whilst this new brewing
giant concentrates on promoting its global beer brands?”
said Terry Lock, chairman of EBCU.
essential that Europe’s Beer drinkers come together to fight the
threats posed by globalisation in beer market. The member
organisations of EBCU have shown that beer drinkers can reach
agreement to enable the consumer’s voice to be heard more clearly in
the corridors of Brussels and Strasbourg. Perhaps a pint or 2 of
quality craft produced beer could aid national governments to come
to a similar accord” continued Lock.
Working together the 13 national beer consumer organisations lobby
strongly on issues that concern the beer drinker and pub goer.
EBCU’s objectives are:-
* The promotion of Europe’s beer culture
* The promotion of traditional beer styles
* The promotion of diversity and consumer choice
* To enhance the image of beer
* To represent the interests of consumers
EBCU’s priorities are:-
* Competition and Choice in the European Beer Market
* Empowering the Consumer
In the years since EBCU was founded there has been a renaissance of
brewing in many countries of Europe, samples from some of these will
be available to toast EBCU’s 18th Birthday at the Brewers of Europe
House on 24 June.