MSP who lost daughter to anorexia to raise issue in Holyrood debate

AN MSP whose teenage daughter died after struggling with anorexia is to raise awareness of the illness during a Scottish Parliament debate.

SNP MSP Dennis Robertson will lead a member’s debate on the subject this evening, coinciding with the UK-wide campaign Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Mr Robertson’s daughter Caroline died last year, aged 19, after suffering with the severe eating disorder.

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He is calling for greater awareness among GPs and medical professionals to enable sufferers to be diagnosed and treated earlier.

Speaking ahead of the debate, he said: “This is Eating Disorders Awareness Week and so is the ideal time to encourage openness about eating disorders.

“The time is overdue for an honest debate about the conditions that lead some people - especially young, smart women - to starve themselves.”

He added: “My daughter, Caroline, struggled with a severe eating disorder and died at the age of 19 last year.

“So this is a subject close to my heart and that is why I have put forward this debate.

“Unfortunately, ignorance of these illnesses, their warning signs and their long-term effects is still widespread. The key to reducing the awful toll of eating disorders on sufferers and their loved ones is to raise awareness among GPs and the medical profession.

“GPs need to know the signs and symptoms and stop assessing it as an eating fad. They need to refer on to specialists at an earlier stage.”