beatCharity Beat have launched this year's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week (22-28 Feb) highlighting the importance of eating disorder screenings with the slogan “3 Minutes Can Save a Life: Get Screened. Get Help. Get Healthy”.

The eating disorder charity estimate that 725,000 men and women across the UK suffer from the mental health condition with the majority of the 2,560 who go to hospital for inpatient treatment aged under 16 – 15 being the most common age of admission for girls and 13 for boys.

Find out more: Book your place for The 2016 Childhood Obesity Framework - Tackling the epidemic from a child’s first 1,000 days onwards

Speaking to Surrey's 964Eagle radio as part of NED Awareness Week, Lady Jane Nathan, Clinic Director at the Healthcare on Demand clinic in Guildford, said: "The rates of new cases being referred is increasing and we are also seeing an upswing in the number of boys being affected.

"There may very well be others that are not being picked up. People must remember that these conditions are not just faddishness, or a diet 'gone wrong'. They can be lifelong mental illnesses, and can have a serious risk of long term consequences and even death for the most severely affected anorexics. Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With timely treatment, the mortality rate falls to 2-3%."

Ahead of the week, a team of eating disorder specialists from Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust launched a new website (www.CreatingHopeTogether.com) providing information about the condition.

Speaking about the website consultant psychiatrist Dr Matthew Cahill said: “Eating disorders can often take over entire lives, and the lives of those close to the sufferer.

“More often than not, the things that were previously very important to the sufferer such as family, friends, hobbies, school or work get neglected as the eating disorder takes over.

The website contains information such as a dedicated ‘Cook-Along’ video page to help the viewer plan and prepare nutritional meals, with advice around how to reduce anxiety when preparing and eating food. It also holds online resources for sufferers, their families, healthcare professionals and the wider general public.

Find out more at www.b-eat.co.uk and www.CreatingHopeTogether.com