Teachers are on the frontline of eating disorder prevention and awareness. Daily interactions with children and young people, the demographic with the highest risk of developing eating disorders, put teachers and professionals in a unique position.

There are plenty of subtle signs that someone you treat or teach could be suffering from or developing a potential eating disorder. Please see the warning signs on our ‘About Eating Disorders’ page.

There are also some signs that might be more obvious to spot in school. They can include;

The brain struggles to function at its previous level if it does not receive sufficient nutrition, leading to an inability to concentrate properly. Students may also be more pre-occupied with food, finding it difficult to think about anything else.

A knock-on effect from eating too little and struggling with concentration and being constantly exhausted. The quality of schoolwork may drop and they may begin underachieving in their exams.

A pupil who had a lot of friends, all of a sudden is sitting alone or has removed themselves from their social circle. The sufferer possibly doesn’t have the time or energy to maintain friendships anymore, and others don’t understand or know how to deal with what they are going through.

Moving from primary to secondary school, choosing your GCSE subjects, going to college or university, exams, a family death or parental divorce, all can have a huge effect on a young person’s mental health, putting them at increased risk of developing an eating disorder, due to anxiety, increased pressure to achieve and inability to cope with changes.

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