A healthy relationship between your body and food is imperative but for some it has been difficult to maintain during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Dietitian and nutritionist Helen Barnett said she has seen an increase in eating disorder presentations as the COVID-19 restrictions exacerbated.
"I have seen quite a few clients in Orange with binge eating disorder, anorexia and other restricted types of eating disorders," she said.
"The closure of gyms has really unsettle people who are very strict about exercising, plus the isolation at home has really made those with a binge eating disorder unsettled."
Ms Barnett said at the start of the pandemic when shoppers were panic buying food, it resulted in a lot of stress and anxiety for those suffering from anorexia and body image issues.
"Some of the clients found it difficult to plan meals because going to the supermarket proved to be a scary experience for them," she said.
"It also meant that they didn't have access to the foods set out in their meal plans and they had to opt for other options which can be daunting for them."
Ms Barnett said she balances her health practice between Colour City Medical Practice and Psych Solutions.
"During this time, I have been able to maintain face-to-face consultation with clients in Orange," she said.
"But I also work at Macquarie Health Collective in Dubbo where telehealth has played a vital role in keeping in touch with clients.
"It has been vital to maintain rapport and engage with the client's treatment plan as clients begin their eating disorder journey."
Ms Barnett also said the people that visit her have candidly spoken about their experiences in lockdown and how they are continuing their treatment at home.
"Everyone deals with food and body image in different ways and some of the people have recognised they need to work on their relationship with food," she said.
"A lot of the binge eating disorder clients acknowledge they need to deal with the issue because the COVID-19 restrictions highlight they can't leave their home and they don't have any other distractions."
According to Ms Barnett, the range of clients that visit her practice have a balance of young and older adult male to females but the difference between the genders is their approach to resolve and manage the disorder.
"I have a lot of female clients who will present with their eating disorder issues, but increasingly I'm seeing males who are dealing with a form of body dysmorphia because of their perception of a body ideal and issues with binge eating," she said.
"The males won't acknowledge it because it is perceived as shame for them."
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