Mental health

Eating disorders

At a glance

Neurobiological underpinning of eating disorders: integrative biopsychosocial longitudinal analyses in adolescents

Lead researcher

Dr Sylvane Desrivieres


King's College London



Amount awarded


Last updated



This Medical Research Foundation-MRC funded study aims to understand how dysfunctional eating behaviours develop, in order to identify factors which may occur before the appearance of an eating disorder.

Using a cohort of 2,000 young people who have been studied from the age of 14, Dr Desrivieres and her team will identify possible risk factors involved in the development of eating disorders, which could inform future prevention and treatment strategies.

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Mental Health – Eating Disorders

  • Why there is a need to fund new research

    Eating disorders are life-threatening mental illnesses that can start in adolescence and affect 15 per cent of young women and up to four per cent of young men. The number of people being diagnosed and entering in-patient treatment for eating disorders in England alone has increased at an average rate of 7% per annum since 2009.  Eating disorders are complex and we are yet to understand why someone develops one or how best to treat them.  A whole range of different factors influence the development of eating disorders including genetics, psychological, environmental, social and biological factors.   We need a better understanding of the causes of eating disorders and jointly with the Medical Research Council we have funded research to develop this understanding. 

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