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New eating disorder research to look at children's relationship with food

Wednesday 26 December 2018 – UK genetics research with the University College London announced this week will examine neuro genetic coding and its potential to determine eating habits in very young children.

With more than 1 million Australians living with an eating disorder in 2018, and very young children being diagnosed and treated for serious eating disorders, The Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan welcomes potentially life saving research in this area that will build on the genetic research being led in Australia by Professor Tracey Wade:

“Understanding eating behaviours and how they are determined early in life could be vital to identifying the triggers for eating disorders. Children as young as seven years old are calling our national helpline for support. Parents and carers are calling us for support."

"This is not just about fussy eaters. To turn this around we need robust research and a deeper understanding of how earlier intervention on unhelpful eating habits may prevent eating disorders”. 


Anyone needing support with eating disorders or body image issues is encouraged to contact Butterfly’s National Helpline on 1800 33 4673 or

For urgent support call Lifeline 13 11 14

Media Contact:
Kim Borrowdale - The Butterfly Foundation     
0406 149 099  |
A reminder to refer to safe reporting guidelines on body image and eating disorders

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Worried about a friend or someone you care about?

It can be extremely difficult raising the subject of eating disorders with a friend or loved one. To be supportive one needs to learn what to say and what not to say.  


We can help you with knowing when to talk to your friend and what to say. ›

Concerned parents & carers

Communicating your concern with your child about eating and dieting behaviour can be extremely difficult. Butterfly offers a range of services that can provide you with skills and information related to communicating with your child.  


We can help you with recognising issues and what to do. ›

Teachers & Professionals Working with Young People

Teachers and those working with young people are often the first to become aware of dis-ordered eating behaviours.  Butterfly Education provides early intervention and prevention skills for professionals working with young people. 

We have a range of advice & resources ›