Phillipa Hay is co-Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Eating Disorders, which was launched in 2013 as the first open access, peer-reviewed journal addressing research into the science and clinical practice of eating disorders – a group of conditions that have shown increased prevalence over the past 50 years, according to World Health Organization. We asked Hay about how perceptions of eating disorders have changed during her career and what the key challenges are in translating evidence based research in this field into clinical practice.


“There has been an increase in people having problems with disordered eating and binge eating in association with struggles with weight disorder. We’ve seen that rise across the genders.”
Phillipa Hay, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Phillipa Hay is Professor and Chair of Mental Health at the School of Medicine of the University of Western Sydney, Australia. She received her PhD from the University of Oxford, UK, and the University of Otago, Australia, after which she went on to establish a career in eating disorders, evidence based medicine and mental health literacy. Hay is a member of the scientific committee of the Australian Academy for Eating Disorders, of which she was formerly president. She is also a principal reviewer and writer of systematic reviews in the field of eating disorders for the global community as part of the Cochrane Library. Her research is dedicated to improving the current understanding of eating disorders in order to reduce the individual, family and community burden through better management and treatment.


“Up until very recently it’s been rather desultory when you looked at the evidence base for the management of anorexia nervosa. There’s been very little but I think we’ve seen a large growth.”
Phillipa Hay, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Hay discusses the wide reaching issues of body image and weight concern, remarking that eating disorders “occur right across the sociodemographic spectrum, both in metropolitan as well as rural areas”. Addressing recent developments in research into eating disorders, Hay comments on progress in clinical trials and the impact this will have on clinical practice.

To find out more about the latest research in eating disorders, from epidemiology and determinants, to neurobiology and treatment strategies, visit the Journal of Eating Disorders.


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