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Eating Disorder Hospitalizations

Inpatient stays for eating disorders are rising.

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Illustration of woman hospitalized with eating disorder

You can count disordered eating as more COVID-19 corollary damage. A research letter based on a cohort study published in JAMA Network Open said inpatient hospital stays for people with an eating disorder has been on the upswing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Investigators from the Center for Health Care Innovation at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia analyzed trends in health care for any eating disorder between January 2018 and December 2020. They found that, “The number of patients with inpatient care for eating disorders remained approximately 0.3 per 100 000 members per month until May 2020 when it more than doubled to 0.6. This increase was seen across anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other and unspecified eating disorders.”

Stress, food insecurity and more time mining social media may all be contributing factors as to why pandemic living can spiral into disordered eating patterns.

See also: Surprising Types (and Signs) of Eating Disorders in Athletes



Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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