Specialists notice a rise in adolescent and childhood eating disorders during the pandemic

UVA Charlottesville psychotherapist discusses eating disorder link to COVID-19
UVA Charlottesville psychotherapist discusses eating disorder link to COVID-19(Source: WVUE)
Published: Nov. 7, 2021 at 9:06 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - UVA Health has seen a rise in childhood eating disorder cases and research says the pandemic is partially responsible.

A peer-reviewed study indicates that eating disorder diagnoses increased 15% from the start of the pandemic to now.

Sara Groff Stephens, a Charlottesville psychotherapist, treats older kids, teens and young adults for eating disorders.

She says an increase in social media use and emotional distress are a few factors that can lead to negative body image.

“I know that eating disorders can occur around disruption and transformation and we know the pandemic was a massive disruption to peoples lives. I think it’s that coupled with taking away things that connect people to each other,” Sara Groff Stephens said.

She says early intervention from parents is important.

If you notice a change in your teen’s eating habits, visiting a pediatrician can be pivotal.

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