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Worrying New figures show 121 Irish kids under 16 were hospitalised with anorexia last year

A total of 247 people had inpatient admissions in hospital last year, due to either anorexia or bulimia.

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Over 100 Irish kids suffering from anorexia were admitted to hospital last year, new figures reveal.

Some 121 children under the age of 16 were hospitalised with anorexia last year, the stats released to Newstalk under the Freedom of Information Act show.

A total of 247 people had inpatient admissions in hospital last year, due to either anorexia or bulimia.

And of the 237 admitted with anorexia, more than nine out of every ten were female.

Anorexia affects far more girls than boys, with 94 per cent of those admitted to hospital last year being female.

The former president of the Irish Medical Organisation (IMO), Dr Martin Daly, says anorexia is a devastating illness.

"It can cause serious physical and psychological harm to the sufferer,” he said.

"Eating disorders are one of the biggest challenges to our medical system at this time.

"At any given time, one out of every seven women is estimated to be struggling with an eating disorder.

"A number of studies have found that up to a third of adolescent girls - that means one out of every three - believe they're overweight.

"And up to 60 per cent, two-thirds of them, are trying to lose weight".

There were just 10 admissions with bulimia last year.

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The Health Service Executive (HSE) says anorexia has the highest death rate of all mental health disorders.

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