Why the coronavirus pandemic is triggering those with eating disorders

When Megan te Boekhorst first heard that people were stockpiling food as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, anxiety swept over her.

The Toronto-based marketing and communication professional lives with binge-eating disorder, and the idea of certain items being unavailable in grocery stores became a trigger. While te Boekhorst had been getting treatment, her in-person meetings recently stopped due to physical distancing regulations.

Although the government has noted Canadians will not experience a food shortage, the thought of scarcity concerns her.

“Whenever we’re talking about the lack of access to food, I get scared and it brings out that strange, almost uncontrollable feeling in me, where I just want to eat everything in sight — even if there’s no food in sight.”

Between stories of people panic buying food, memes about quarantine weight gain and endless tips on how to stay fit at home, messages around eating and body image are rampant right now.

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