Approximately one-in-20 Australians, and an estimated four to eight per cent of the Australian adult population, are living with an eating disorder.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve day by day, the InsideOut Institute for Eating Disorders has just launched an online survey to better understand how people living with an eating disorder are being impacted during these unprecedented times.

The survey is being led by Dr Jane Miskovic-Wheatley, Research Stream Lead at the InsideOut Institute, who recently told the ABC “The more that we can understand about the full range of responses, the better we are going to be able to make sure that the healthcare system is responding to those who are most in need.”

Currently there is little evidence of both the short and long-term impact of COVID-19 on pre-existing mental health concerns, such as eating disorders. Food insecurity, social isolation, increased hygiene measures, closure of health and fitness centres, and an increased sense of uncertainty may have triggered eating disorder symptoms in some individuals.

People living with eating disorders can have a complex relationship with food, exercise and social relationships, and the InsideOut Institute is interested in how this relationship may have changed throughout the course of 2020.  

The study aims to identify the unique challenges or opportunities those with eating disorders are facing and seeks to measure the impact on symptoms, access to, and changes in treatment, social isolation and quality of life. 

If you are aged 16 years and over, and have been diagnosed with an eating disorder, and/or have or are experiencing concerns with your body image or eating difficulties, take the survey here to help the InsideOut Institute measure the impact of COVID-19.

Should you have any study-related questions, please contact the InsideOut Institute on 02 8627 5690or email Please put COVID STUDY in the subject line.

If you feel distressed at any time, please call 1 800 ED HOPE (1 800 33 4673).

This study has been approved by Sydney Local Health District Human Research Ethics Committee (X20 -0181)

1 Comment

  1. Camilla Toft on July 30, 2020 at 8:11 am

    An increasing number of people are suffering from mental distress and among these, eating disorders – and what we know for sure about these disorders are, that they are thriving in social isolation, as we have been and still are forced into due to COVID-19. It would be expected that patients will experience an increase in symptoms, yet the individual’s why and how will be insightful for future knowledge on how to treat these patients (or how to minimize their role as victims during pandemics). Another noteworthy aspect of studying eating disorders during COVID-19 could be to investigate the possible increase in the number of cases: Is this virus not only a trigger to escalate our already existing cases, but also a trigger to escalate cases? (How many people are becoming health related victims of the corona virus without being contracting to the virus himself or herself?)