A KINGSWOOD anorexia survivor says some people who suffer from eating disorders have benefitted from a 'safe haven' in lockdown.

Marissa Pendlebury, an ambassador for Liverpool Hope University, is also calling on the authorities to take great care to ease these individuals back into society to avoid painful relapses.

Twenty-eight-year-old Marissa, who also founded the Nourishing Routes programme, explained: “Covid-19 has created a really complex picture – and likely not what you might think. Many of those with an eating disorder are clearly struggling at this time.

“Isolation associated with Covid-19 might have forced them to face their eating disorder in a negative way. It’s hard to escape intrusive thoughts and they might cave-in to using food as a coping mechanism, eating less or counting calories more because they’re physically moving less while stuck indoors.

“But it’s important to remember that we’re also hearing how many are also benefitting from the lockdown. Covid-19 has given them permission to relax, to take a step back. For some people it feels like the world is slowing down – and that’s a good thing.

Warrington Guardian:

“When you can’t go to the gym, don’t have to go to work, don’t have to go to university, you can put in a better schedule to make sure you have all their meals and snacks in place.”

Marissa has battled anorexia since the age of 13 and has been hospitalized for her condition. She says she recovered from her disorder roughly four years ago, and emphasised that efforts should be focused on supporting those with eating disorders when schools, workplaces and universities do open their doors.

She added: “Institutions need to be mindful about the risk of eating disorder relapse post-lockdown.

“People will have been tuned-in to a slower pace of life, but when things return to normal they might develop a fervour of motivation to get back to work, especially if they feel they’ve not done enough.”

According to charity Beat, around 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder and 75 percent of those affected are female.