Wera Hobhouse has tabled a motion calling for an overhaul into the way we treat, and diagnose, people with eating disorders.
Over a million people in the UK have an eating disorder. However, figures from the charity Beat show that it takes 85 weeks from the moment that someone realises they have an eating disorder, until treatment starts.
Many also seek help but are told by GPs that they aren’t thin enough to qualify for treatment.
There are now calls growing across the country to change this. A petition started by campaigner Hope Virgo to #DumpTheScales has gathered almost 65,000 signatures. The campaign started based on Hope’s experience of being told she wasn’t thin enough when spoke about her problems with her GP.
The campaign has now reached Westminster, with a motion tabled by Wera Hobhouse setting out how to enable the NHS to treat eating disorders more successfully.
Wera said: “We need to do better. People are not getting the help or treatment that they need right now. We need an overhaul of the current system with an introduction of standard waiting times for adults as well as children. There needs to be a focus on mental health, and earlier intervention needs to take place to help those who suffer from an eating disorder. It has been a privilege to work with Hope on this and bring attention to such an important issue.”
Hope Virgo said: "I am so excited that we have cross party support coming forward to raise awareness of eating disorders. I never thought that this would happen when I launched my campaign #Dumpthescales a few months ago."
"People with eating disorders are getting an unfair deal in society. It is not right that people are turned away from support because of their BMI. This was devastating to me when I relapsed from anorexia and it happens every day to thousands of people, leaving them feeling suicidal, alone and without help. It isn't right that we live in a society which is so fixated on weight and BMI. Eating disorders are not about weight and therefore should not be judged on this."