23 April 2019

Trust Eating Disorders Specialist Sarah Fuller has been instrumental in developing and delivering an important national Consensus Statement for clinicians treating vegans with eating disorders, which has just been released.

Sarah is the Advance Specialist Eating Disorders Dietitian for the Bedfordshire & Luton CAMHS Eating Disorders Team based at Rush Court in Bedford. The eighteen month long research project findings were issued as a joint statement between the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the British Dietetic Association and BEAT, the UKs leading charity supporting those affected by eating disorders.

 

The Consensus Statement offers guidelines to clinicians on how to work with people who have chosen to follow a vegan diet and have developed an eating disorder. The report makes it clear that although a significant proportion of patients requiring in-patient admission for eating disorders had been following a vegan diet on admission, veganism itself should not be regarded as a causal factor in eating disorders.

”There has been little research nationally into people with eating disorders who follow vegan diets. The consensus statement is important in terms of giving clinicians a fully comprehensive picture of where we are at presently in terms of knowledge, good practice and what we would like to see developed further to support patients. The pharmaceutical industry in particular needs to lead developments for medications in order to address current disparities for vegans”, said Sarah.

Steven Sandford, Professional Lead for Allied Health Professionals across ELFT said: "Health, wellbeing and diet are all linked and this new guidance which Sarah has been integral to developing, is yet another endorsement of how key Dietitians are to supporting ELFT deliver  its Strategy, including Integrated Care and Population Health. 

Congratulations Sarah and colleagues on this important work.  I look forward to further opportunities to share further the expanding roles of Dietitians in ELFT.”

The statement has already received media coverage from as far away as New Zealand as well as from BBC Radio Berkshire , the Daily Mail Online and the national campaign group Mental Health Today.

The Consensus Statement can be viewed here.