2 March 2022
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown backs Eating Disorders Week campaign

Today in Parliament MPs and Peers gathered to show support for The AnyBody and EveryBody Campaign #ChangeTheStory which is working to remove the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds eating disorders.

Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown backs Eating Disorders Week

The campaign is designed by The Hearts Minds and Genes Coalition. Eating disorders are serious, biologically based mental illnesses deserving of equal clinical and research funding to that given to other complex diseases. The coalition want to ensure that no-one with an eating disorder need experience shame or guilt, and everybody should have timely access to specialist services.

Author and Multi-Award winning campaigner, Hope Virgo who chairs the coalition said:

“When we think of eating disorders we often immediately think of a white teenage, emaciated girl and fail to realise that eating disorders are so often hidden in plain sight amongst all ages, genders races, ethnicities, body shapes and weights, sexual orientations and socio-economic statuses. The campaign is working to remove the stigma and misunderstanding that surrounds these illnesses, ensuring that nobody should experience shame or guilt for suffering from an eating disorder and to make sure that everybody has prompt access to specialist services.”

Dr Agnes Ayton, chair of the Eating Disorders Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said

“No one chooses to have an eating disorder. An eating disorder can affect anyone at any age and can be caused by a range of factors including genes, mental or physical health conditions and social pressure. The stigma around having an eating disorder prevents many people from asking for help when they need it. No one should feel embarrassed to ask for help. An eating disorder can have very serious long-term effects on the body, but with treatment, people can fully recover. Raising awareness of this issue is an important first step in helping people to get the help they need. If you think you may have an eating disorder, speak to your GP who can refer you to a specialist counsellor, psychiatrist or psychologist. You can also visit the NHS Choices website to find out what additional support is available, including confidential helplines." 

Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown said:

“I was absolutely delighted to join the Hearts Minds and Genes Coalition today in Parliament to mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week and the start of their new campaign, #ChangeTheStory, to end the stigma around eating disorders. Over the Pandemic, I have heard more stories each week of people who are affected by eating disorders and it is clear that not enough is being done to support them. Only 50% of ED sufferers go on to recover and even then only 30% improve and more consequently 20% remain in a chronic condition. This high figure highlights the serious issues with regards to holistic and available treatment. I urge others to get behind this campaign, to make noise and to show their support.”