Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/984/26959

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 February 2018

What's behind the surge in eating disorders?

These ads on London Underground were taken down and banned after 60,000 people signed a protest petition online, photo Graham C99/CC

These ads on London Underground were taken down and banned after 60,000 people signed a protest petition online, photo Graham C99/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, Yorkshire Socialist Party

Many will have been shocked by recent NHS figures showing the doubling over the last six years of hospitalisations due to life-threatening eating disorders.

In 2017-18, the health service made 13,885 hospital admissions with either a primary or secondary diagnosis of eating disorders - up from 7,260 in 2010-11. Beat, an eating disorder charity, reported an increase from 7,000 calls to their helpline last financial year to an expected 17,000 by the end of this March.

The NHS categorises four types of eating disorders:

OSFED disorders are the most common, and anorexia the least common. Yet even anorexia admissions have doubled in the last six years for under-19s.

One psychiatrist told the Guardian that "outpatient eating disorder service remains a postcode lottery." This is a reflection of the cutbacks and privatisation of services.

The Guardian also reported on one woman and daughter who had to leave their jobs and relocate from Norfolk to Gloucestershire to access outpatient services!

Eating disorders are complex and don't have simple causes. But in general young women are the most affected - a reflection of the intense objectification of women's bodies in particular.

Many commentators point to the development of social media and widespread sharing of personal photos as one factor fuelling the recent increases. But this takes place in the general context of misogyny and alienation under capitalism.

And another factor, less talked about in the press, is the issue of growing dependence on processed foods.

These often include excessive amounts of salt, sugar and fat, completely out of kilter with what is necessary to maintain a healthy weight. Such foods are readily available, cheaply, in large quantities - people don't usually binge-eat on home-cooked foods!

But it is precisely the lack of time for most people to eat well-prepared, nutritious meals - whether cooked at home or in affordable restaurants and canteens - that has fuelled the growth of snacking. Often this is due to insufficient breaks at work, long hours and commutes to make enough to live.

Combined with a more sedentary lifestyle in the deindustrialised economies, this has contributed to a trend towards obesity.

The rise in eating disorder admissions, and cuts to the NHS, all highlight one thing. So long as capitalism continues to have a workforce to make sufficient profits from, our health and that of our families is of little importance or priority.

Socialists must fight for an end to cuts and sell-offs and the full funding of eating disorder services, particularly outpatient services, in every part of the country, alongside other vital NHS services.

But beyond that, we struggle for a world where people have the time and facilities to live a healthy lifestyle, in an environment and culture geared to support everyone fulfilling their potential - rather than trying to shape them into cogs of the capitalist machine.

A socialist society would lay the basis for dealing with the problems at the root of eating disorders.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 February 2018:


What we think

Corbyn's customs union dividing line: now stand firm for pro-worker Brexit


Socialist Party news and analysis

Save Our Square occupation: "This land is our land!"

Three major West Wales hospitals could close

Corbyn didn't collaborate with Stalinism - but with Trotskyists against it

Stormzy is right to slam Tories for Grenfell

KFC delivery crisis: make the bosses pay, not the workers!


International Women's Day

Resist the Tory war on women


Workplace news and analysis

Workers strike back!

Lecturers strike around country in defence of pensions

University bosses rocked - strikes can save staff pensions!

Unite victory in EDF meter workers' union recognition fight


Labour

Corbynism shows 'Clause IV' still relevant a hundred years on


Socialist Students

Socialist Students conference highlights successful work

200 years of Marxism meeting


International socialist news and analysis

United States: young people demand change after latest mass shooting


Socialist Party campaigns

'Anti-austerity' Bristol Labour passes 34 million cuts budget

Newham: teaching workers and parents determined to halt academies

Building fund appeal: Behind the scenes at the Socialist Party office

Mary Jackson: funeral and memorial meeting

Union-led campaign beats Blairite attacks on homeless

Belper hospital threatened

Selling the Socialist in Stoke


Opinion

What's behind the surge in eating disorders?

The Socialist inbox

Socialist anti-war exhibition opens in Kingston


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 February 2018   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Health:

triangleTories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

triangleSan Francisco Bay Area's toxic smoke crisis and capitalism's mismanagement

triangleEnd "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

triangleSave our NHS - oust the Tory wreckers!

NHS:

triangleCuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

triangleTories out now to save our NHS

triangleNHS Tayside facing massive job cuts

Food:

triangleWest London Xmas party

triangle60% of wildlife wiped out - urgent action needed to save planet

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: How capitalism is poisoning our food

Capitalism:

triangleTory chaos reaches fever pitch

triangleThe growth of artificial intelligence technology

Reviews and comments

Reviews and comments

12/12/18

The Socialist

The Socialist quiz of 2018

12/12/18

Obituary

Obituary - Beth Roper (1990-2018) - comrade, friend and fighter

28/11/18

Trump

Trump is capricious and dangerous - but is he really in charge?

28/11/18

Theatre

Wonderful socialist play finds Edwardian poverty not in past

28/11/18

Poverty

End "poverty, ill health and despair":a benefits adviser speaks out against the cuts

21/11/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

21/11/18

Blairites

Nothing to offer from the Blairites

14/11/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

14/11/18

Theatre

Theatre: The Last Seam - a lasting tribute to Mary Jackson

14/11/18

Jeremy Corbyn

Engaging book about Corbyn's rise doesn't provide answers on how to change Labour

7/11/18

Film

Nae Pasaran: a film about working-class solidarity

7/11/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

31/10/18

Lucas Aerospace

'Lucas Plan' film tells story of workers who set out alternative to job losses

31/10/18

Letters

The Socialist inbox

24/10/18

Letters

The Socialist Inbox

triangleMore Reviews and comments articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


December 2018

November 2018

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999