New research: Escalation of eating disorder symptoms reported during first major COVID wave (video)

24 Jan, 2022

InsideOut's lead researcher Dr Jane Miskovic-Wheatley speaks with ABC News Channel's Gemma Veness about new research that revealed an escalation in eating disorder symptoms during the first major COVID wave.

InsideOut researchers tracked 1,723 people with eating disorder symptoms over the first major COVID-19 wave (July - October 2020), which included Victoria’s major lockdown.

The findings revealed that, compared to before the pandemic, 88% of the participants had experienced an increase in body image concerns, 74% had experienced an increase in food restriction/dieting and 66% in binge eating.

The study further revealed that, of those participants found to have an eating disorder of clinical significance, 40% had never been formally diagnosed.

“We know that the healthcare system is stretched, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t want people with eating disorders to come forward," Dr Miskovic-Wheatley said.

“We obviously know that the pandemic is continuing, so our concern is that this is an ongoing issue for people - and we want people to come forward so that they know they can start to get that care and treatment that they deserve."