Autism-anorexia link ‘must be acted on’ – BBC News

Autism-anorexia link ‘must be acted on’

By Louis Lee Ray BBC Victoria Derbyshire programme
27 February 2019

The NHS must change the way it assesses eating disorders to take account of a link with autism, a research charity has said.

Autistica said findings suggested one in five women presenting to UK clinics with anorexia may also have autism and tailored therapy was vital.

One woman said her autism had made her “obsessed” with counting calories, even though she did not want to lose weight.

Health watchdog NICE said more research was required.

Sophie McInnes, 24, told the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme her anorexia had developed not from issues surrounding body image or weight but because she had developed a set of rules for herself about how many calories she could eat.

She said she had wanted to put on weight but her autism – at that stage undiagnosed – had meant she would not let herself.

“It was all about the calories, all about the numbers,” she said, having begun to write down what she was eating aged 19.

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