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A recent study published in the journal BMJ Open finds there has been an increase in the number of children aged 8-12 diagnosed with anorexia. The report found that roughly 3.2 children per 100,000 were thought to have an eating disorder across the UK and Ireland, compared to just 1.5 to 2.1 distinguishable cases in 2006. Findings were based on research with child and adolescent psychologists, who were asked to recount the number of anorexia cases they investigated between February and September 2015. A questionnaire was used when potential cases emerged. Sarah Byford, co-author of the study and Professor of Health Economics at King’s College London, says factors stemming from early childhood – such as anxiety over diet or academic performance – can trigger a vulnerable individual into developing an eating disorder. However, she notes that the rise in these type of cases might be due more to a heightened awareness of the subject matter: “[It] might simply be that we are getting better at identifying young people [with anorexia].” More can be read here.

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Family Kids & Youth – what we are doing during Coronavirus lockdown

We are continuing to carry out our UK and international research with children, teens and parents but have switched all this online and to our apps. Our qualitative research is filmed and our mini groups, depth interviews and focus groups are proving to be a great success. Children and young people are totally at home speaking online and are extremely vocal, even on the most sensitive of topics. Parents are appreciating the ‘group effect’ of online video conferencing.

Our resourceful team at FK&Y has been home-based since Monday 16 March and our regular catch-ups on Microsoft Teams ensure we all know what each other is doing! We’d like to thank our clients, our suppliers and of course our research participants for being so encouraging and so supportive.

We have compiled lists of organisations that offer help on home-schooling, child behaviour, and anxiety and mental health. Please contact me if you wish to receive this list.

Wishing all our clients, colleagues and friends our very best wishes! Dr Barbie.

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