Internationally renowned eating disorders expert Professor Bryan Lask is today featured in a Daily Telegraph article published to coincide with the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday 2nd March.
Professor Lask, who oversees Care UK’s north London child and adolescent eating disorder service at Rhodes Farm, as well leading on clinical matters at the care providers’ specialist services in Gloucestershire, is one of a number of experts discussing the online eating disorder community, the effects of pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites and what risks exist online to people living with or recovering from these illnesses.
In the article, Professor Lask. says social media is a very important part of his patients’ lives and, even though eating disorders are genetically-determined, the society in which we live - which creates thinness as an ideal - plays a major contributing role in the development of the condition.
Professor Lask joined Care UK in February 2013 as medical director for eating disorders. His other academic and clinical positions include Professor Emeritus in child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of London, visiting professor at the University of Exeter and honorary consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.
He is currently researching a brain abnormality that plays a major role in the development of anorexia nervosa and later this year will be sharing the results of his latest research into cognitive remediation and cognitive behavioural therapy.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week is led by Beat, a charity that aims to raise awareness and understanding of illnesses such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). According to Beat, these disorders affect 1.6 million people in the UK and claim more lives than any other mental illness.
Dr Alison Rose-Quirie, managing director for mental health services at Care UK, said: “Raising awareness of eating disorders, their symptoms and the treatment available to people is a crucial part of our work. Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a good opportunity for treatment providers, service users, their families and the general public to unite and raise money for a charity whose work helps to support so many people.
“I cannot emphasise enough how crucial early diagnosis and prompt treatment are to guiding people through the recovery journey. Our dedicated website – careukeatingdisorders.com – offers advice to people with an eating disorder and also contains lots of other useful information aimed at their family and friends. I urge anybody concerned that they, a friend or relative might have an eating disorder, to seek professional help as soon as possible.
Care UK is one of the leading providers of treatment for people with acute, severe and enduring eating disorders. Its three eating disorders centres, Rhodes Farm in London and two near Stroud in Gloucestershire offer support and treatment for people aged from eight years old.
The Care UK eating disorders team can also be found on Twitter and has developed a community of almost 1,000 followers.