Nine boys and 132 girls were newly hospitalized for anorexia, increased from six and 93 respectively compared with the previous year.
The survey also found some hospitals lacked available beds for those in severe conditions despite the uptick in patients, as their beds were used to treat Covid-19 patients.
The centre conducted the survey in two months through the end of June with the effort of 26 medical institutions in 19 of the nation’s 47 prefectures.
An official of the centre believed the increase in young people diagnosed with anorexia was triggered by the pandemic, which has disrupted the lives of students at elementary, middle and high schools.
“Because many schools suspended activities as a measure against the coronavirus, a lot of young people felt a greater level of stress and anxiety,” the official said.
A series of other surveys conducted by the same centre on parents and their children also found that many young people expressed worries and discontent over their school life due to the pandemic.
In the survey, a boy in the fifth grade of an elementary school wondered if people are going to spend the whole life not going outside and not doing anything, and a girl in the second grade of a middle school said she wants to live a normal life as soon as possible.
The centre said there should be more medical institutions that can treat patients with eating disorders.
It also called on parents and schools to pay attention to any children who are suffering weight loss and refer them to the hospital before their health deteriorates.