THE number of people in Wales being admitted for eating disorders have increased by 10 per cent, according to new figures.
NHS figures show there were 274 admissions between 2011- 2013, with an increase from 130 to 144 between 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
A spokeswoman for eating disorder charity Beat Cymru said: "The increase in hospital admissions for people with eating disorders is concerning and could indicate that people have been unable to access support at an earlier stage in their illness. We should also recognise that these figures are the tip of the iceberg, as they only show inpatient admissions. We know that the majority of individuals are treated as outpatients within their community as well as in private treatment centres — or worst still, not treated at all.
"The sooner someone receives treatment the more likely they are to make a full recovery and the less likely they will need to spend time in specialist facilities, sometimes far away from their home and support networks. It is crucial that local, community based eating disorder services are fully accessible so that people are able to get the help they need in a timely manner.
"It is also important that statutory and third sector organisations work together to educate and inform people about eating disorders, in order to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help and support as early as possible."
A Welsh Government spokeswoman said they had recently invested in improving eating disorder services.