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Many people experienced new or exacerbated mental, physical, and emotional health problems during the pandemic. For example, the University of Michigan Health Lab conducted a study in response to the statistically significant spike in hospitalizations for eating disorders among adolescents during COVID-19. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. With a rise in eating disorder cases and hospitalizations, and little literature published on the effects of pandemic conditions on young persons (aged 10-19 years) with eating disorders, we decided to conduct a qualitative and quantitative investigation of YouTube eating disorder testimonials before and after the onset of the pandemic (March 11, 2020). Our preliminary findings and sentiment analysis indicate that between the pre- and post-pandemic onset testimonials, comments are generally neutral to positive. However, the data still presented itself as statistically significant, possibly attributed to the post-pandemic responses being more positive than the pre-pandemic responses.



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Comparing Pre- and Post- Pandemic Viewer Responses to Eating Disorder Testimonials