Bullying is directly responsible for the recent rise in eating disorders, say a leading campaigning charity.

Beat, the national campaigning eating disorders organisation, surveyed 600 people and found that in more than 75% of people surveyed. This represents a 67% increase since the charity carried out a similar survey two years ago.

The survey revealed that:

- 90% said they had been bullied at some time in their life.

- 78% acknowledged that this had led to their eating disorder compared to 46% in Beat's 2010 survey.

- Over 40% said they were under the age of 10 when the bullying started.

Chief Executive Susan Ringwood: "We know that low self esteem can lead to eating disorders, and bullying of any kind lowers self esteem. Any increase in bullying is very worrying, especially when such young people are involved.

We know how important it is for young people's concerns about bullying to be taken seriously and sorted out quickly. Schools need to make sure their anti-bullying policies are effective and used - and not just a dusty document on a shelf."

For support on eating disorders visit http://www.b-eat.co.uk

Posted by Penny Hosie