At Beat we recognise the importance of research in achieving our ultimate goal – to beat eating disorders. For us, research represents understanding and knowledge, which are essential tools in our fight against these serious illnesses. To do our part in moving understanding forward, Beat actively supports and encourages research into eating disorders.

Participating in research

To view some of the eating disorders research we are currently supporting, or to take part in this research yourself, please click here. Soon you will also be able to join our research database if you are interested in receiving email updates about future research opportunities. You can join if you have experience of an eating disorder, either as a sufferer, carer, or professional. We are in the process of revising this database to ensure that it is up to date.

If you would like to view summary of results, reports and publications resulting from the research which has been advertised on our website, and via email to our Research contacts, please click here.

Beat's work with researchers

If you are conducting research at a post-graduate level or above, you could advertise for participants on our website and via our database of contacts. Please click here to find out what we require from researchers before we can support their projects. We are also available on a consultancy basis if your research would benefit from our expertise, including that of our young recovering volunteers. You may also be interested in our Professional Network Membership.

Beat’s Research

Beat Economic and Social Impact of Eating Disorders Study

Beat are working with PwC to produce a special report on the economic, social and health impacts associated with eating disorders in the UK. Having an evidence-based financial report will be a very powerful tool for us to use in persuading the Government to improve access to treatment and support services and to acknowledge the wider impact of eating disorders (EDs). It will also help us to raise public awareness by generating media coverage. 

As part of this piece of work we have conducted an anonymous survey with a range of individuals who have (or have had) an ED, as well as those who have cared or supported someone with an ED. Over 500 people have shared their experiences with us by taking part in this important survey.

In 2015 we will be launching the final report and asking for your help again to help us campaign for improved access to treatment and support for people with eating disorders and their families and friends.

Psychological therapies for Anorexia Nervosa: What works for whom?

Beat is coordinating an exciting research project, in collaboration with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, investigating the treatment of adults with Anorexia Nervosa. It will develop the evidence-base for treatments by comparing the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT).

This is a five year project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund and is due to end in 2016. After completion Beat will publicise the findings through various channels including the media, our website, academic journals and conferences.

If you are a professional and would like more information about this (and other Beat research) projects and to be kept up to date, you should register as a Beat Professional Network member. To find out more information and how to complete an application, please click here.



Stigma research and campaign

Beat are part of a group led by Dr Rachel Bryant-Waugh, which is carrying out a new research project into the stigma faced by those with eating disorders and their families and carers. This research is exploring the forms and consequences of stigmatising attitudes, and seeks to design interventions based on the experiences of individuals and their families. The first phase of this research consisted of three surveys (one for parents and carers, one for siblings and another for people with personal experience of an eating disorder), the designs of which were based on a an extensive literature review of past research into stigma and eating disorders. Details of the findings and the next phases of this research project will be posted on this page and in other Beat communications such as our e-newsletter and 'UpBeat'.

Waiting Times research and campaign

Thank you to everyone who completed our recent survey about the experience of waiting times for NHS eating disorders treatment. We had an excellent response rate, with nearly 500 people completing the survey. It asked about the length of time people had to wait for their most recent episode of treatment as well as the impacts of this waiting period. We have just published the findings of this survey. You can view the results here (downloadable pdf).

We have received a wide range of media coverage on this topic and we are encouraging those who would like to campaign with us, to use this research when contacting their local NHS and MP. For more information on the media coverage and campaigning opportunities please click here.

Donate to the Charlotte's Helix Project

Charlotte's Helix is an international collaboration seeking to bring the AN25K genetics initiative to the UK, in honour of the eating disorder advocacy work of Charlotte Bevan.

The goal of Charlotte’s Helix is to add at least 1,000 DNA samples from individuals with a lifetime history of anorexia nervosa in the UK to this international genetics initiative. Under the direction of Professor Cynthia Bulik, AN25K has the ambitious goal of collecting 25,000 DNA samples in order to"crack the code" that makes some people predisposed to an eating disorder. Please click here to find out more about how you can support this important initiative.


For more information about research at Beat, please email the Research Officer, Jonathan Kelly at:


We now have a presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a social network aimed at professionals and therefore by following our account you can receive updates on the latest research into eating disorders. Click here to take a look at our page, follow us by clicking the 'follow' button on the top right.

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