A word from the editor: Eating disorders - the unwelcome guest at the table

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week commences February 26.
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week commences February 26.
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MAry Berry says avocado has no place being on toast - she’d much rather have it as part of a nice prawn cocktail - she’s so retro!

Her words, part of an interview published last week, have sparked plenty of debate, and some (not so) fond reminiscing about food from the “decade taste forgot” the 1970s.

Who remembers the cool taste of an arctic roll or the glamour of a mushroom vol-au-vent (made from cold condensed mushroom soup ideally). Pineapples came from tins, in chunks and were served on sticks or on gammon and for mains Chicken Kiev perhaps or Boeuf Bourginone for the real sophisticates.

In the main though food was a perfunctory affair and followed a regular pattern in many households (personally I loved fish finger night, and I still do). Mostly there were two choices for dinner - take it or leave it.

I remember people around me on diets (Ryvita and cottage cheese anyone?) and not liking school dinners (lumpy mash!) But eating disorders among my peers I don’t remember.

This is a subject very close to my heart now, an unwelcome visitor to my home for nearly a decade and one I’ve got to know a lot about.

I’m very proud to be continuing the campaign started by my predecessor in the editor’s chair, who is my friend and a long-standing colleague.

Having an eating disorder is having a mental illness and it claims more lives than any other. The YEP will be focussing on the subject all week. It’s a complicated, manipulative, draining, pernicious illness that destroys people, personalities, relationships and lives. Spotting the signs early is crucial (as is getting the right help).

We hope our series helps more people to understand this is not a fad, not a diet and not to be ignored.