Young Czech girls increasingly suffer from eating disorders

A majority of patients with eating disorders in Czechia are young women, and every tenth patient dies at the average age of 25.

Sofija Kordic
Sofija Kordic NewsMavens, Czechia
Young Czech girls increasingly suffer from eating disorders - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Charles University Faculty of Medicine has issued a press release announcing that last year 3,700 patients were treated for eating disorders, and 450 of those were hospitalized. Also, mortality for eating disorders has doubled compared with other psychiatric illnesses and is 10 times higher than in the general population. The risk of suicide is 200 times higher. Therefore, experts are seeking to inform pupils already in elementary schools about eating disorders and their risks.

Almost a quarter of those treated in hospitals with eating disorders were patients between 10 and 14; 39% were between 15 and 19 years old.

Young girls with eating disorders are the most vulnerable, and the illness can cause irreparable damage in young developing bodies. That is why experts are calling for timely treatment.

The average length of the illness is six years, but one third of patients suffer twenty to thirty years, often leading to a premature death. Experts are also warning about the poor state of hospital palliative care for patients in Czechia who are rejecting food and treatment. 

Details from the story:

  • Eating disorders have different causes and manifestations but all patients have one thing in common: they are deeply dissatisfied with themselves.
  • Many school age children don’t know their optimal weight, and many girls cannot cope with gaining weight and become obsessed by body weight and shape
  • Older children are dieting, but know too little about appropriate nourishment.
  • The most common eating disorders include anorexia -- restriction or rejection of food intake, and bulimia -- eating large amounts of food, sometimes purging it afterwards.
  • 1.5% girls and young women have anorexia. it occurs more in middle and upper class environments.
  • Bulimia occurs more often among high school and university students. It affects from 4% to 15% of young women.
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