The number of children and young people referred to community eating disorders services escalated dramatically shortly after onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many presented with medical instability following restrictive eating and needed acute hospitalisation to correct malnutrition. In addition to the many risk factors for mental health problems that young people have been subjected to since onset of the pandemic, the question for eating disorders researchers, practitioners and policy makers is how, for so many, did it become about eating. In this editorial, some of the factors that may explain how eating, weight, shape and body image may have taken centre stage in young people’s lives are explored. Finally, some clinical service adaptations and gaps, policy considerations, and research priorities are outlined.