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MSP who lost daughter to anorexia to raise awareness

Dennis Robertson. Picture: TSPL

Dennis Robertson. Picture: TSPL

An MSP whose daughter died as a result of anorexia hopes to raise awareness of the struggle sufferers of eating disorders face.

Dennis Robertson said it was vital that society understood “what people with eating disorders are going through” as well as what could be done to support them.

Mr Robertson’s 18-year-old daughter Caroline died in 2011 after suffering from anorexia for five years.

He will speak out on the issue at a conference at the Scottish Parliament today which coincides with Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

The event will look at the impact the media, fashion and other industries can have on such disorders.

Public health minister Michael Matheson and Dr Jane Morris, chair of the Scottish Eating Disorders Interest Group (SEDIG), are also due to speak at the conference

Speaking ahead of the event, Mr Robertson, said: “The eating disorder conference is the pinnacle of the events that I am delighted to have organised for colleagues, clinicians, professionals and people affected by eating disorders.

“I have said all week that Eating Disorders Awareness Week should be about people living with eating disorders and that we must listen to them - and that is what this conference is all about.

“It is about ensuring that people across Scottish society understand what people with eating disorders are going through and looking at what else we can all do to support them.”

Mr Robertson, the SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire West, said First Minister Alex Salmond had already expressed “the willingness of the Scottish Government to listen and act on issues that affect people with eating disorders”.

He added he was “heartened to hear such words”, saying such support would be “important to the many people across Scotland” affected by such conditions.

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