Children as young as four-years-of-age are being treated for anorexia in Irish eating disorder clinics.
Doctors have warned that the age of children presenting with disorders is getting younger and there is an increasing demand for services.
The founder of the Marino Therapy Centre, Marie Campion said she has seen patients as young as four presenting with cases of eating disorders.
"In a child that young, we would work with the family," she said. "It is amazing what can develop at an unconscious level," she told the Herald newspaper.
"There are three hospital beds for treatment, but we would say too many people are coming out distressed," she said.
"The treatment is very much focused on weight and that is not the answer.
"The methods of treatment are out of date in this country and the focus is on the physical symptoms.
"Young people are absorbing all the negativity around them," she added.