NEWS4 July 2023

More than £4m pledged to eating disorders research

Healthcare News Public Sector UK

UK – UK research funders including the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) have made £4.25m available for research into eating disorders.

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The funding programme is seeking to improve knowledge and understanding of the biological, psychological and social causes of eating disorders, to help improve treatments and prevention strategies.

In addition, the funding will aim to address underfunding for research into eating disorders, which affect 1.25 million people across the UK but has faced a “vicious cycle of underfunding” in recent years, according to a 2021 report compiled by Beat on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Eating Disorders.

Joining the ESRC in the funding commitment is the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Medical Research Foundation and the National Institute for Health and Care Research.

The money will support research programmes led by researchers at King’s College London, University College London, the University of Birmingham and the University of Edinburgh.

Dr Angela Hind, chief executive at the Medical Research Foundation, said: “Eating disorders have grown in scale and severity during the pandemic, yet research investment continues to languish behind the already limited funding available for other mental health conditions.

“We hope this new joint investment breaks the cycle of underfunding in eating disorders research, and most importantly, that discoveries from these collaborations help to improve the lives of people with eating disorders.”