Young people with eating disorders need to be supported during their illness, a charity has said.
Eating disorders organisation beat explained that anorexia and bulimia sufferers are often misunderstood.
As a result, many of them avoid seeking help when it is required, noted Emma Healey, the charity's chief operating officer.
She added: "It can be really difficult for someone to accept there is something wrong - young people often tell us that their problem is silly, and this may be a reflection of the fact that eating disorders are still highly stigmatised and misunderstood.
"Because a young person with anorexia so often has low self-esteem, we have spoken to young people who have said 'I can't talk to my parents, my dad's just been made redundant and they have enough problems to deal with'."
Figures from weight management group Jenny Craig show that 89 per cent of women have tried to shed the pounds at some point in their lives.