Nearly a year in, the Covid-19 pandemic causes rise in eating disorders

With the Covid-19 pandemic approaching its one-year anniversary, a new crisis is emerging with it: a rapid uptick in eating disorders. Symptoms of eating disorders—food restriction, purging, excessive exercise—are easier to hide when restaurants are closed, groceries are hoarded, and smartphones become both respite and distorted mirror. “I feel like all of this … is the perfect storm,” Sara Buckelew, director of the UCSF Eating Disorders Program, told The San Francisco Chronicle. “There’s isolation, there’s social media, there’s difference in family dynamics … there’s so much.” While most of the new cases reported are among teens and young adults, a large population of adult men and people of color also cope with trauma and stress by developing eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association reported a 78 percent increase in calls to its help line since March 2020, and because of quarantine, many are suffering in isolation.

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