Skip to main content

Eating Disorders in the time of COVID-19 outbreak - Implications for now and the future

Edited by: Hubert Lacey, Phillipa Hay and Stephen Touyz


New Content ItemAll of us have been stunned by the impact of this viral pandemic. Whilst the focus has of course been on the public health needs to contain its spread and care for individuals with acute infection and the most vulnerable, only now are the wider impacts on people’s mental health being thought about. In this regard, people with Eating Disorders may be particularly vulnerable, because of their frequently compromised physical health, as well as problematic relationships with food in a time of food insecurity and panic buying, and often impoverished social and interpersonal lives in a time of severe “social distancing’. 
In this thematic series in Journal of Eating disorders, we put together papers informing on all aspects of the impacts that this global crisis may have, or is having, on people living with an eating disorder, their health and treatment, and the wider research community. This includes consequences for research programs and research governance such as  peer review. We encourage papers reporting case histories and novel solutions to care where face to face contact is curtailed.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer-review process.

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic and its related social restrictions have profoundly affected people’s mental health. It can be assumed that symptomatic behaviors and mental health of individuals with eating disorders (E...

    Authors: Maryam Haghshomar, Parnian Shobeiri, Serge Brand, Susan L. Rossell, Ava Akhavan Malayeri and Nima Rezaei
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:51
  2. People with lived experience of eating disorders (ED) may be particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public health response due to exasperating situations such as social isolation, pres...

    Authors: Jane Miskovic-Wheatley, Eyza Koreshe, Marcellinus Kim, Rachel Simeone and Sarah Maguire
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:9

    The Correction to this article has been published in Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:20

  3. Current research has found dramatic changes in the lives of those with eating disorders (EDs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We build on existing research to investigate the long-term effects and adaptations th...

    Authors: Ashleigh N. Shields, Elise Taylor and Jessica R. Welch
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2022 10:8
  4. Young adults and especially those with pre-existing mental health conditions, such as disordered eating and self-harm, appear to be at greater risk of developing metal health problems during the COVID-19 pande...

    Authors: Naomi Warne, Jon Heron, Becky Mars, Alex S. F. Kwong, Francesca Solmi, Rebecca Pearson, Paul Moran and Helen Bould
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:155
  5. Eating disorders are amongst the deadliest of all mental disorders, however detection and early intervention rates remain extremely low. Current standardised screening questionnaires can be arduous or confront...

    Authors: Emma Bryant, Jane Miskovic-Wheatley, Stephen W. Touyz, Ross D. Crosby, Eyza Koreshe and Sarah Maguire
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:109
  6. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic dramatically transformed daily life for adolescents and young adults, altering social and physical environments. Previous research has shown such shifts in daily life to be ...

    Authors: Julia A. Vitagliano, Grace Jhe, Carly E. Milliren, Jessica A. Lin, Rebecca Spigel, Melissa Freizinger, Elizabeth R. Woods, Sara F. Forman and Tracy K. Richmond
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:80
  7. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, research in virtual care for young people with eating disorders was preliminary and implementation rare. This study explored the experience of young people, parents and clinicia...

    Authors: Catherine Stewart, Anna Konstantellou, Fatema Kassamali, Natalie McLaughlin, Darren Cutinha, Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Mima Simic, Ivan Eisler and Julian Baudinet
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:78
  8. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen worsened mental health as a result of lockdowns, isolation and changes to sociocultural functioning. The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is representative of global cance...

    Authors: Georgina Louise Buckley, Linden Elizabeth Hall, Annie-Claude M. Lassemillante and Regina Belski
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:73
  9. Shelter-in-place orders and social distancing guidelines, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, have limited traditional face-to-face interactions and led to many clinical providers transitioning to the use of...

    Authors: Rebecca Spigel, Jessica A. Lin, Carly E. Milliren, Melissa Freizinger, Julia A. Vitagliano, Elizabeth R. Woods, Sara F. Forman and Tracy K. Richmond
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:69
  10. There is a noticeable lack of evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 and the associated lockdown on young people with eating disorders. The goals of this study were 1) to examine characteristics of adolesce...

    Authors: Wendy Spettigue, Nicole Obeid, Madison Erbach, Stephen Feder, Natalie Finner, Megan E. Harrison, Leanna Isserlin, Amy Robinson and Mark L. Norris
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:65
  11. This study examined the experiences of young people and their parents who attended an intensive day treatment programme for eating disorders online during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

    Authors: Phillipa Louise Brothwood, Julian Baudinet, Catherine S. Stewart and Mima Simic
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:62
  12. The COVID-19 pandemic has had detrimental effects on mental health. Literature on the impact on individuals with eating disorders is slowly emerging. While outpatient eating disorder services in Canada have at...

    Authors: Jennifer Couturier, Danielle Pellegrini, Catherine Miller, Neera Bhatnagar, Ahmed Boachie, Kerry Bourret, Melissa Brouwers, Jennifer S. Coelho, Gina Dimitropoulos, Sheri Findlay, Catherine Ford, Josie Geller, Seena Grewal, Joanne Gusella, Leanna Isserlin, Monique Jericho…
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:46
  13. Studies investigating patients’ perspectives towards an abrupt transition from face-to-face to online treatment in eating disorders (EDs) are scarce. The current study aimed to (1) conduct a preliminary assess...

    Authors: Yael Doreen Lewis, Roni Elran-Barak, Rinat Grundman-Shem Tov and Eynat Zubery
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:31
  14. Since COVID-19 is a global health emergency, there is an urgent need to share experiences on decision-making with regard to safety recommendations and for hypotheses that can inform a more focused prevention a...

    Authors: Mladena Simeunovic Ostojic, Joyce Maas and Nynke M. G. Bodde
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:15
  15. The World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 as a global pandemic on the 11th March 2020. As a result, the UK Government imposed severe restrictions on working and social contact as part of ...

    Authors: Hannah Shaw, Sarah Robertson and Nadia Ranceva
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:14
  16. The Covid-19 pandemic has wrought disruption to everyday life and services, and emerging evidence suggests that those with eating disorders (EDs) are likely to experience marked distress and exacerbation of th...

    Authors: L. Vuillier, L. May, M. Greville-Harris, R. Surman and R. L. Moseley
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2021 9:10
  17. Only one in four people with eating disorders seeks treatment, and of those who do seek treatment, 20% go on to experience a chronic course. Early intervention has been associated with better prognosis, with t...

    Authors: Emma Bryant, Jane Miskovic-Wheatley, Stephen Touyz, Ross D. Crosby, Eyza Koreshe, Li Cao and Sarah Maguire
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2020 8:60
  18. Lockdown implemented to prevent the COVID-19 spread resulted in marked changes in the lifestyle. The objective of the current study was to assess the impact of lockdown measures on a cohort of eating disorder ...

    Authors: Paulo P. P. Machado, Ana Pinto-Bastos, Rita Ramos, Tânia F. Rodrigues, Elsa Louro, Sónia Gonçalves, Isabel Brandão and Ana Vaz
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2020 8:57
  19. Family-based treatment (FBT) is an efficacious outpatient intervention for young people diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa (AN). To date, treatment to protocol has relied on standard face-to-face delivery. Face-t...

    Authors: A. Hambleton, D. Le Grange, J. Miskovic-Wheatley, S. Touyz, M. Cunich and S. Maguire
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2020 8:50
  20. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic may raise unique challenges for individuals with experience of eating disorders. Many factors have potential for detrimental impacts on psychological wellbeing ...

    Authors: Dawn Branley-Bell and Catherine V. Talbot
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2020 8:44
  21. This reflective piece, written by a woman with an eating disorder aims to identify the impact of COVID-19 on persons living with eating disorders and provide a social justice approach as a resolution. The auth...

    Authors: Margaret Janse van Rensburg
    Citation: Journal of Eating Disorders 2020 8:26