Referrals for eating disorder treatment for teens tripled during the pandemic

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The number of teens referred for eating disorder treatment tripled in the past year compared to years prior, a Health Sciences Centre psychiatrist says. (Maya Kruchankova/Shutterstock)


(Marianne Klowak/ CBC News) — Social isolation and a loss of structure during the pandemic has left adolescents more vulnerable to developing eating disorders and exacerbated already existing ones, a Winnipeg psychiatrist says.

Dr. Jonathan Boman, a psychiatrist and staff chief at the child and adolescent eating disorders service at the Health Sciences Centre, said he has seen referral rates for teens seeking treatment triple in the last year and a half.

“I think it’s been a surprise, not just in Winnipeg, but nationwide in Canada, that for some reason this has been a population of youth who have been particularly vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic,” said Boman.

Since restrictions began over a year and a half ago, “services across the country saw an explosion of referrals,” he said. (…)

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