The Scottish Government has pledged to take forward the findings of a review of services for those with eating disorders.
Mental health minister Clare Haughey said the national review of eating disorder services had been a “crucial first step” in this work.
And she said an implementation group would be set up to make the necessary changes – with this to include those who have been affected by such problems.
Ms Haughey described such people as “experts by experience” as she said the review was the first part of work to “improve outcomes for people living with an eating disorder in Scotland”.
The review called for urgent support to be given to those struggling with easting disorders, with this to include self-help packages, peer support networks and emotional and practical support for families and carers as well.
It comes in response to what the Scottish Government said was an increase in the number and severity of cases seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
A spokesman for the clinicians and psychologists who led the review said they had “tried to listen carefully to the public as well as healthcare professionals, the third sector and health boards about what would work best for Scotland”.
The spokesman added: “We hope that this review will pave the way to more equitable, accessible and supportive services in Scotland for all people who have eating disorders and their loved ones, regardless of age, diagnosis, severity or location.”
Ms Haughey stated: “We know the Covid-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact on the mental health of the population, including those with diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders.
“This is why during the early stages of the pandemic we provided Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity, with funding to ensure that their online and telephone services were able to support as many people as possible during this difficult time.”
The minister added: “The National Review of Eating Disorder Services was a crucial first step in a phased programme of work to improve outcomes for people living with an eating disorder in Scotland, to help them recover and maintain healthy and productive lives.
“I want to thank all those involved in the review for their hard work in gathering key evidence and drafting their report and recommendations, which will now be taken forward by an implementation group of relevant stakeholders, including those who are experts by experience.”