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Eating disorders: the cost on the country

Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia cost the country more than £15bn a year, according to a new report.

The report by PwC for eating disorder charity Beat also found that the lives of some of more than 600,000 sufferers are being put at risk by an “unacceptable” postcode lottery for treatment.

The cost of eating disorders was calculated by assessing the financial burden on sufferers and their carers and lost income to the economy.

PwC's estimate erred on the conservative side, it stressed. It does not reflect the human cost, with the vast majority experiencing “a very significant or significant impact on their well-being and quality of life”, says the report, commissioned by eating disorder charity Beat.