Over a million people in the country have suffered from Eating Disorders at some point in their life, but many are not properly diagnosed because they are told by GPs that they are not underweight or overweight enough. This only makes the problem worse
The Dump The Scales campaign started following Hope Virgo’s experience of being turned away from services for not being “thin” enough. This didn’t just happen to Hope but happens to hundreds of people weekly across the NHS. The campaign is calling on the government to implement the NICE Guidelines around the diagnosis of Eating Disorders, and therefore to not measure the BMI of those seeking treatment.
Hope Virgo who started the #DumpTheScales campaign said: “I am so excited that we have cross party support coming forward to raise awareness of eating disorders. People with eating disorders are getting an unfair deal in society. It is not right that people are turned away from support because of their BMI. This was devastating to me when I relapsed from anorexia and it happens every day to thousands of people, leaving them feeling suicidal, alone and without help. It isn’t right that we live in a society which is so fixated on weight and BMI. Eating disorders are not about weight and therefore should not be judged on this.”
Turning someone away from treatment not only impacts the person suffering but also those around them. The symptoms have long term impacts on the individual impacting all aspects of life which means that businesses are also effected.
Investing in early intervention and prevention is essential to individuals having long lasting recovery.
Hope Virgo said:
“There is a disconnect between the NHS England guidelines, that say BMI should not be relied on to diagnose eating disorders, and the experience of people in surgeries across the country. I’m glad that Stephen Morgan MP is taking action in Parliament.”
Rachel Morris MBE said:
“It is vital we start changing the way we see people specifically young people who have so many new pressures put on given and turn that against themselves.
Being part of Dump The Scales is something I am very passionate about, partly as someone who has struggled with both anorexia and bulimia and now as I am working with more mental health in young people and adults I am seeing ‘below the tip of the ice berg’ as people open up to me.
It is so important to support people early on in the illness and that not being done through a number”
Stephen Morgan MP said:
“We need to ensure that those with eating disorders get a fair deal in society. The stories that are emerging of people being turned away from treatment centres are a testament to the fact that we need to proliferate better understanding of eating disorders.
Waiting for people to hit crisis point is counterproductive and the government needs to amend its guidance given to clinicians. We need to see a more encompassing approach so that people aren’t let down. Dump the Scales is a pioneering campaign that is drawing the Government’s attention to this valid cause.
I thank constituents who have been in touch with me about these important matters. I will continue to raise concerns from Portsmouth in Parliament”.
You can sign the petition https://www.change.org/p/eating-disorders-are-not-just-about-weight-dumpthescales