Adolescent girls continue to form the majority of patients seen for eating disorders at Nightingale Hospital London — but the number of boys admitted for eating disorder treatment rose from 15 in the first quarter of 2015 to 17 in the first three months of this year. The figure was 12 during the corresponding period in 2014.

Dr Bijal Chheda-Varma, a psychologist and therapist at Nightingale Hospital, said: “One general theme we have been looking at is the increase in the importance given to body image. There is a perfectionist attitude, the wish to be very slim. The role of social media may be contributing to body image disorders.”

Dr Alex Horne, lead child and adolescent consultant at the hospital, said: “With the treatment programmes at our unit, children and young people have access to the highest standards of care in order to support recovery.”

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