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Experts say pandemic brought on rise of eating disorder cases

Isolation and stress have caused an uptick in eating disorder issues among teenagers.

It's a health issue that is cause for concern in a post-pandemic world - especially for parents of teens. 

The National Eating Disorders Association said it has seen a more than 58 percent increase in calls and texts to its helplines since the pandemic started.

According to a study from Alana Otto, M.D., M.P.H., an adolescent medicine physician at University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, at one center, the number of hospital admissions among adolescents with eating disorders more than doubled during the first 12 months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study goes on to say that major changes to teens lives like stress, isolation, increased time on social media and other routine changes, may have had serious impacts on their health & well-being. 

Meanwhile, social media platform Pinterest is stepping up to do their part in helping to aid the stigma around weight loss & unhealthy eating habits. The platform said any ads with weight-loss testimonials or weight-loss products will no longer be allowed as the site shifts focus to the body-positivity movement.

The National Eating Disorder Association says that for parents, teens struggling with an eating disorder generally may have some signs and symptoms but to be aware of some general behaviors that may indicate a problem like: needs control of food portions, preoccupation with weight or calories, extreme mood swings, food rituals & others. 

For anyone who is struggling or knows someone who is struggling, you can find support, resources, and treatment options for yourself or a loved one who is struggling with an eating disorder here.