The view of children and young people about eating disorders

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Northamptonshire was commissioned as part of the Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s (CYP) Future in Mind Local Transformation Plan for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health, to engage with CYP across the county to find out if they knew what an eating disorder was, if they knew anyone with one, and if they knew where to get help and information. 2,017 CYP between the ages of 11-20, completed the survey and attended workshops. Key findings were: 78% knew what an eating disorder was, 31% said they knew someone with one, and 7% said they themselves had an eating disorder. Anorexia was the most recognised as an eating disorder (by 86% of respondents). There were some stark gender differences in knowledge and awareness, with more female respondents knowing what an eating disorder is and knowing where to go for help and information, although overall only 47% of respondents did know where to go for help. Based on the findings, Healthwatch recommended that more resources should be put into raising awareness of eating disorders and where to go for help and information, particularly targeting males and those aged 12 or under. Additionally, more information about eating disorders should be disseminated through schools. Schools should have appropriate mechanisms to support young people, and that students know about them. Further investigation into the prevalence of undiagnosed eating disorder, particularly among young men in Northamptonshire and whether there is a link between identifying gender as ‘other’ or ‘prefer not to say’ and an increased prevalence of eating disorders.

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General details

Report title 
The view of children and young people about eating disorders
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Northamptonshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 August, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 January, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 April, 2016
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Food and nutrition
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Other
Support
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-6276

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Yes
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other (please specify)
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Northamptonshire Children and Young People’s (CYP) Future in Mind Local Transformation Plan for Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Eating disorder services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
2017
Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
All
Specific ethnicity if known 
All
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.