Tips for CYP feeding or eating disorders

Tip Sheet 3 - What Medical Investigations?

Who is this for?

These tips have been developed for professionals working across health care; from primary and universal care-hospital general paediatric services right through into specialist CYPMHS.



In this, the third of five tip sheets on feeding and eating disorders in children and young people, we provide quick access tips on what to ask for and what investigations to perform. This will be most relevant to GPs and other medical professionals assessing and supporting patients with feeding or eating disorders.

Early rapid investigation and same day review of results of investigations wrapped inside a comprehensive person-centred care plan is critical. Equally important to bear in mind, are the distortions to thinking that the eating disorder can create. Be aware that a very important effect of distorted thinking is lack of insight about the feeding or eating problem. Careful assessment is supported by appropriate medical investigations.

Clinical detection can be challenging. This includes being aware of the secrecy and shame sufferers experience. Be mindful that building trust and rapport will support your assessment. Be alert to hidden aspects of the young person’s feeding or eating disorder.

Screening questionnaires and tools to help spot and identify eating disorders

Severely ill and admitted patients

Physical investigations to consider in all patients

A medical doctor or nurse must check and record the following:

Reasons for blood tests

Diabetes mellitus type 1

Red Flags in Primary Care

When you identify multiple red alerts across physical domains, discuss referral to acute medical care

Refeeding and ‘underfeeding’ syndromes: recognition, avoidance and management

Further Information




Further elearning from NHS HEE & MindEd

Children and Young People - MindEd resources

All ages - NHS HEE TEL Resources


These tips have been curated, drawn and adapted from a range of existing learning, including MindEd, NHSei, NICE, MMEEDs guidance, NHS HEE elfh/BEAT/RCPsych resources. Extracts from the MMEEDs are included with permission courtesy of the MMEEDs team.

The content has been edited by Dr Mima Simic (MindEd CYP Eating Disorders Editor) and Dr Raphael Kelvin (MindEd Consortium Clinical Lead) with close support of the inner expert group of Prof Ivan Eisler, Dr Dasha Nicholls, Dr Rachel Bryant Waugh and Dr Simon Chapman.

A wider expert reference groups include BEAT (Kathrina Dixon-Ward, Martha Williams, Brooke Sharp), Dr Elaine Lockhart (RCPsych Child and Adolescent Faculty Executive chair), Gemma Trainor (MindEd Consortium RCN lead rep), Prof Ulrike Schmidt (Professor SLAM/KCL and MindEd Editor) Dr Lisa Shostack (MindEd Consortium BPS Lead Rep).


This document provides general information and discussions about health and related subjects. The information and other content provided in this document, or in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment.

If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your healthcare provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that you have read in this document or in any linked materials. If you think you may have an emergency, call an appropriate source of help and support such as your doctor or emergency services immediately.

MindEd is created by a group of organisations and is funded by NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education.

© 2023 NHS England, MindEd Programme 

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