Health Council wants national approach to eating disorders
The Dutch Health Council called for a nationally uniform approach to eating disorders in new advice to the Cabinet. According to the Health Council, a lack of knowledge about eating disorders, long waiting lists, and a fragmented supply of care mean it currently takes an average of four years to get appropriate help.
Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and avoidant or restrictive food intake disorder are serious psychiatric disorders that often have severe physical consequences, the Health Council said. Therefore, getting people struggling with eating disorders appropriate help much more quickly is essential.
“The Council recommends that prevention focuses primarily on increasing the mental resilience of young people, among other things by improving their self-confidence and teaching them to deal with (social) media responsibly and critically.”
The Council also advised an awareness campaign. “It is important that young people themselves realize earlier that they are ill and that those around them notice it more quickly. A good screening instrument is also necessary for early recognition.”
According to the Dutch Health Council, the government should invest in research into early recognition of eating disorders, effective intervention, and their concurrence with other diseases. It also recommends “a nationally uniform approach to eating disorders which can be implemented at a regional or municipal level.”