Developmental considerations in addressing the earlier age of severe eating disorder onset
Rebecca C. Kamody and Michael H. Bloch
The deleterious impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on youth mental health has garnered much attention (Newlove-Delgado et al., 2023). It has been a topic of interest in both research and academic writing, as well as in the public press (e.g., Tanner, 2023). Disorders and mental health concerns of focus have been wide-ranging, with some of the most severe presentations, such as suicidality, highlighted (Asarnow and Chung, 2021). Eating disorders are among the most life-threatening and prominent mental health concerns that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and our current models of youth mental health care cannot keep up. Given this context, our team read and reviewed the manuscript, ‘Shifting age of child eating disorder hospitalizations during the Covid-19 pandemic’ (Auger et al., 2023), eagerly. While the increasing severity of eating disorder presentations and increase in pediatric hospitalization has been an area of research (Asch et al., 2021), including at our own institution (Shum et al., 2022), the impact of age of onset, and the consequential impact on current systems of care, requires much greater attention.
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Dr Michael H. Bloch is an associate editor for JCPP, a full profile can be found here.
Rebecca Kamody, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine