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Prof Chris Fairburn, whose research informs the government guidance on treating eating disorders, says BMI should be one of the factors considered by doctors, but other factors, such as moods, relationships and overall physical health, should also be taken into account.

Too many people with eating disorders feel they are being forced to lose weight so their bmi is low enough to qualify for treatment

BBC News Health, 27th July 2015

"If weight is low that's serious, but you can have a serious eating disorder and your weight's normal, you can be suicidal, incredibly distressed, but your weight's normal," he said.

Prof Fairburn says accounts of people being denied treatment because their BMI is not low enough are "appalling".

"It would be like someone who has high blood pressure being told they're not getting treated until it gets even higher. You're expecting someone to get worse before they're allowed to get treatment - it's the exact opposite of what the NHS should be doing," he said.