According to the Priory Group – one of the biggest providers of treatment for eating disorders in the UK – last year the number of adult patients admitted for treatment rose by a staggering 15%.
Priory Group consultant psychiatrist, Dr Alex Yellowlees claims the growing trend for ‘selfies’ – mobile phone self-portraits – is fuelling this increase.
He adds that online anorexia ‘diaries’ are the biggest culprits, as they expose people who may be susceptible to eating disorders to a heightened level of psychological pressure.
“Some people will take repeated pictures of themselves at various stages of their illness, and send them to others,” he says.
“They want to keep a record of their illness and see for themselves, as it were, the progress they think they are making towards anorexia, but they will also transmit the images to other sufferers on occasions.”
Despite a crackdown on ‘thinspiration’ sites promoting anorexia and bulimia, Dr Yellowlees is concerned there is…