ACTION has been demanded to improve awareness of eating disorders.

Bolton South-East MP Yasmin Qureshi said she was shocked to discover it is almost three years before most sufferers from anorexia, bulimia, and other conditions seek help.

She spoke out in advance of 'Eating Disorders Awareness Week' from March 2 to 8.

Ms Qureshi said: "This is an international awareness event fighting the myths and misunderstandings that surround eating disorders.

"On average, 149 weeks pass before those experiencing eating disorder symptoms seek help.

"In fact, Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity, estimates that 1.25 million people in the UK are living with an eating disorder, many of whom are unaware of their disorder.

"In a YouGov survey conducted for Beat, more than one in three adults (34 per cent) in the UK who gave an answer, could not name any signs or symptoms of eating disorders.

"The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full and fast recovery, which is why it is important that we continue to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms and encourage people to take action now."