Talk to someone now. Call our National Helpline on 1800 33 4673. You can also chat online or email

Talk to someone now. Call our National Helpline on 1800 33 4673. You can also chat online or email

Research & policy publications

Butterfly participates in research studies and develops policy submissions in the areas of eating disorders and body image.

We seek to inform and influence mental health policy and support innovative service development by drawing on the best available evidence. Our policy analysis is also informed by collaboration with others in the sector, our direct service experience and our relationships with people affected by eating disorders and negative body image.

Butterfly Reports

Over the past ten years, national and state-based eating disorder organisations have developed a substantial suite of documents on the evidence-based standards and practices of delivering effective treatment to people with eating disorders. The National Agenda for Eating Disorders brings together the evidence and consensus-based expert opinion behind these documents into a summary of the priorities for mental health system reform to address the needs of people with eating disorders and their families.


In late 2017 Butterfly Foundation conducted its first Insights in Body Esteem survey of Australians. The Insights in Body Esteem project aimed to discover the experience of those living in Australia over the age of 18 in relation to their body esteem, and the impact these feelings have on their day to day lives.


In 2016, in partnership with the Mental Health Commission of NSW, Butterfly launched Insights in Recovery. The findings have then been translated into a practical guide to help health professionals adopt a person-centred, recovery-orientated approach when working with patients experiencing an eating disorder.



In 2014 Butterfly commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to undertake a cost benefit analysis of treatment for eating disorders in Australia. The report examines the cost-effectiveness of ‘treatment as usual’ versus ‘optimal treatment’ for eating disorders in Australia, using the prevalence trends and costing framework from the 102 Deloitte Report, Paying the Price.



In 2012 Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by Butterfly to examine the economic and social costs of eating disorders in Australia. This review was supported by an advisory panel of experts in eating disorders, mental health and population health.



Policy submissions

This submission provides an overview of eating disorders in Australia with a focus on children and young people. We highlight the importance of engaging with people affected by eating disorders, the prevalence of body dissatisfaction among children and adolescents, and challenges for areas for service improvement across the domains of prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery.


Requests for involvement in research studies

Butterfly is open to receiving requests to promote research opportunities to our community. If you have a research project that you wish to discuss with us, please contact us via with the following information:

  • Your Ethics Committee application and evidence of ethics approval from your research institution
  • A summary of your research proposal
  • A copy of the information statement provided to participants, including information on how findings will be reported back to participants
  • An outline of how you will share your research findings with Butterfly at publication stage so that we can share with our community.


You may also wish to contact the National Eating Disorders Collaboration for your research to be listed with them –

Requests to partner with us on the development of research proposals and grant applications will also be considered. Please refer to our Strategic Plan 2018-2022 to see our current areas of focus.