Zinc Media-owned documentary prodco has been commissioned by British pubcaster Channel 4 to develop a one-off investigative documentary set to explore the devastating impact of eating disorders in the UK.
Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia will draw on the familial experiences of award-winning reporter and television presenter Mark Austin and his daughter Maddy as they look to break the stigma surrounding anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
“This was not an easy film to make. But Maddy and I wanted to highlight the crisis in the treatment of eating disorders in many parts of this country,” said Mark Austin, in a statement. “It is an epidemic of our age and it is high time it was talked about as a mental health emergency that needs resources and attention. We hope this helps.”
The film will also investigate whether the British health care system is providing appropriate care to the nearly 1.2 million people suffering through eating disorders, causing the highest number of mental health related deaths in the UK. It will examine the lengthy wait lists for treatment, the limited number of beds prescribed to those with eating disorders, the closure of outpatient centers across the country and the postcode lottery determining the level of care patients receive.
“This is a timely film looking at the impact that NHS cuts have had on mental health treatment in the UK, with a particular focus on eating disorders,” added Daniel Pearl, C4 deputy head of news and current affairs. “Mark and Maddy have been on an incredibly difficult journey and it is extremely brave for both of them to explore such personal matters in this documentary.”
Janice Sutherland serves as producer-director on the film, which is exec produced by Emma Hindley and Lucie Kon.
Wasting Away: The Truth About Anorexia is scheduled to premiere Aug. 24 at 10 p.m. BST on C4.