Zara McDermott is set to reunite with Summer Films for a third BBC3 project examining the rising trend of eating disorders amongst children and young people.
Zara McDermott: Disordered Eating (w/t) is an hour-long single that will follow the former Love Island contestant as she explores the rise in eating disorders among younger age groups, including overeating, undereating, excessive exercise, increased focus on appearance and anxiety around mealtimes.
Hospital admissions for children aged 17 and under with eating disorders increased by more than 40% between April and October 2021, with charities concerned about the role social media has played in this rise. The doc will investigate the impact of social media on eating disorders, as well as speaking with young people who are living with disordered eating as well as those in recovery.
The doc follows McDermott and Summer’s previous BBC3 projects, Revenge Porn and Uncovering Rape Culture, with the latter airing in a post News at 10 BBC1 slot to 1m (12.4%).
Zara McDermott: Disordered Eating was commissioned by BBC3 controller Fiona Campbell and Clare Sillery, head of documentaries. Max Gogarty is the commissioning editor for the BBC, while Summer’s Lucy Hillman and Sam Whittaker exec produce. Ellie Merz directs.
Campbell described McDermott as “brilliant” presenting talent who approaches each subject with “honesty and integrity”.
“Disordered eating is a very sensitive area that overwhelmingly effects the audience we are trying to reach. We promise that we will approach the subject with the care and rigour it deserves, and we hope the result is a film that can really make a difference,” she added.
McDermott said she hopes that the doc brings more awareness and understanding to a topic that is “severely” affecting young people.
She said: “While I use my own social platform to share my personal lifestyle, I am keen to understand more about this topic and the impact of social media to educate both myself and others on how we can all do better and be more aware of our digital output.”
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