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Statistics show that over a million of people in the UK suffer from some kind of eating disorder.

Around 40% of those with eating disorders have bulimia, 20% have anorexia, and the rest of the crowd have "atypical disorders", which can combine both bulimic and anorexic-type symptoms.

UK researchers have found that people suffering from these eating disorders, especially from bulimia, could benefit from 'talking therapies' that aim at releasing from obsessive feelings. It is a specially-created form of "cognitive behavioural therapy" that proved to work in four out of five cases.

A study done by the researchers from the University of Oxford on 154 people was successful and the patients achieved "complete and lasting" improvements. For the time being, the treatment is officially recommended only for bulimia patients.

The technique used in this behavioral treatment involves using a series of counseling sessions to help the person to realize the links between their emotions and behavior, and work out ways to change what they are doing.

Two versions of the therapy have been developed specifically for people with eating disorders. One type of the treatment focused completely on the eating problems, while another focused on building self-esteem, which is thought to be involved in the whole problem.

Both treatments involved 50-minute outpatient sessions repeated once a week for 20 weeks.

Most of the patients had responded well and maintained the improvement over the next year when a relapse into eating disorder is most likely to occur. Two-thirds made a "complete and lasting" response, with many of the other third showing substantial improvement.

This study involved patients suffering from bulimia and excluded those with anorexia problems. However, a second study is currently underway and is showing promising results in this group.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is done on an outpatient basis without a need for hospitalization. Besides showing improvement, the fact that a patient doesn’t need to stay in a hospital adds to CBT’s positive effects.
The treatment is increasingly being used across the NHS and patients themselves are reporting positive results in building self-esteem as well as rationalizing their irrational thoughts.

Other scientists have welcomed the research and believe that an appropriate training for therapists to deliver this new form of treatment should be a next step, a very important one.


thanks for the info


I wonder how they came up with the number "a million" people with eating disorder in the UK. That sounded like an awful lot of people. Perhaps all UK citizens are required by their universal health care system to answer some kind of survey concerning their eating habits. I am hoping that those of you living in the UK can enlighten me on this subject.