THE number of people with eating disorders being admitted to hospital in York and North Yorkshire has risen by more than a third, new statistics have shown.

In 2011/12, 47 people in the York and North Yorkshire area were admitted to hospital with such disorders, but this rose to 64 admissions between November 2012 and October 2013 – the fifth highest number of admissions per area, only behind Barnet, Camden, Devon and Hampshire.

Beat, the support charity for people with eating disorders, said that the fact that York and North Yorkshire were relatively well-served in terms of treatment for eating disorders could explain the high number of admissions.

A spokeswoman said: “It could be down to greater awareness and diagnosis.

“The most important thing is that people get the treatment they need as soon as possible and to not take no for an answer. In terms of young people, the media at large brings all sorts of pressures which they are becoming aware of at a much younger age.

“There are many more body image issues out there than there used to be which can contribute to causing an eating disorder but not be the cause of.

“We urge people to contact their GP as soon as possible as early treatment can prevent hospitalisation.”

The charity said the statistics related to hospital admissions and pointed out there were many other people who suffer from eating disorders. Nationally, the figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre show a rise of eight per cent in the number of admissions to hospital for an eating disorder.

In the 12 months to October 2013, hospitals nationally dealt with 2,560 eating disorder admissions, eight per cent more than in the previous 12 months.

Nationally, 91 per cent of admissions were female. The most common age for female admissions was 15 years and for males, 13 years.

Kingsley Manning, chairman of the centre, said: “The report shows a national increase in the demand placed on hospitals by patients with an eating disorder.

“Hospitals not only dealt with more patients with an eating disorder than last year but compared to other admission types, patients with these disorders tend to stay longer in hospital, which will be of significant interest to staff caring for these patients and and those planning services.”