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How Many People Die From Eating Disorders

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The Impact Of Eating Disorders

Over 10,000 people die from an eating disorder each year
  • About one person dies every hour as a direct result of an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • Anorexia is the most deadly mental illness. One study found that people with anorexia are 56 times more likely to commit suicide than people without an eating disorder.
  • Up to half of the people with an eating disorder misused alcohol or illicit drugs at a rate five times higher than the general population.
  • The vast majority of people hospitalized for an eating disorder have a co-occurring health condition. Mood disorders, like major depression, are the primary underlying condition followed by anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and substance use disorder.
  • Diabetes patients who have an eating disorder, struggle with controlling their diabetes, which exposes them to diabetic complications such as heart disease, stroke, neuropathy, loss of vision, and kidney disease.

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Recovery From Eating Disorders Statistics & Facts

Despite the bleak facts above, the important truth to cling to is that people recover from eating disorders and live fulfilling lives every day. While recovery is a challenging road, and will never be linear, it is absolutely possible to achieve.

  • Among the 21% of individuals that experience full recovery, 94% continued to maintain that recovery 2 years after treatment .
  • 50% of patients with anorexia nervosa make a full recovery .
  • Studies show that, despite initial follow-up results indicating low rates of recovery, continued symptom improvement and meaningful recovery are possible in anorexia nervosa beyond the first decade of follow-up .

Body Image Dieting And Social Media

  • Body image has been listed in the top four concerns for young Australians from 2009-2018 with 30% concerned about body image .
  • Research shows that up to 80% of young teenage girls report a fear of becoming fat .
  • Nearly 23% of Australian women report a self over evaluation of weight and shape meaning they think they are larger than they are according to BMI .
  • It has been reported that more than 55% of Australian girls and 57% boys aged 8 to 9 years are dissatisfied with their body t .
  • Nearly half of Australian women and one third of Australian men are dissatisfied with their body .
  • Weight related teasing in children is associated with disordered eating, weight gain, binge eating, and extreme weight control measures .
  • Social media use has been linked to self-objectification, and using social media for merely 30 minutes, a day can change the way you view your own body .
  • A study of teen girls reported that social media users were significantly more likely than non-social media users to have internalized a drive for thinness and to engage in body surveillance .
  • Weight-loss dieting is a risk factor for the development of an eating disorders and. Dieting frequently precedes the onset of an eating disorder .
  • Dietary restraint influences binge-eating behaviour .
  • High frequency dieting and early onset of dieting are associated with poorer physical and mental health, more disordered eating, extreme body dissatisfaction, and more frequent general health problems .

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Eating Disorders And Age

  • Eating disorders can affect people of all ages and have been diagnosed in those younger than 5 years and older than 80 years .
  • Research shows that adolescents are at greatest risk, with the average age of onset for an eating disorder between 12 and 25 years .
  • 75% of people diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and 83% of people diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa are between 12 and 25 years .
  • 57% of contacts to the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline in 2018-2019 were from young people aged up to 25 years .

Uk Eating Disorder Statistics

Anorexia Nervosa
  • Between 1.25 and 3.4 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder
  • Around 25% of those affected by an eating disorder are male
  • Most eating disorders develop during adolescence, although there are cases of eating disorders developing in children as young as 6 and in adults in their 70’s
  • Eating disorder are most common in individuals between the ages of 16 and 40 years old
  • Around 10% of people affected by an eating disorder suffer from anorexia nervosa
  • The average age of onset for anorexia nervosa is 16-17 years old
  • 40% of people affected by an eating disorder suffer from bulimia nervosa
  • The average age of onset for bulimia nervosa is 18-19 years old
  • The rest of sufferers fall into the BED or OSFED categories of eating disorders
  • Research suggests that individuals who have family members with eating disorders are more likely to develop eating disorders themselves when compared to individuals who have no family history of these illnesses
  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates among psychiatric disorders
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder in adolescence
  • The earlier that eating disorder treatment is sought, the better the sufferers chance of recovery

These UK eating disorder statistics are derived from data published by Beat, and Anorexia and Bulimia Care.

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How Long Do Eating Disorders Last

Research carried out in Australia suggests that the average duration of anorexia is eight years and five years for bulimia. However, these illnesses can also become severe and enduring, lasting for many years and having a hugely debilitating effect on the sufferers and their families. The sooner someone gets the treatment they need, the more likely they are to make a full recovery.

Eating Disorders And Income Education And Ethnicity

  • Most people with eating disorders have similar households incomes and education levels as the general population . ion 2020a).
  • Eating disorders occur in all ethnicities, nationalities and cultural backgrounds .
  • A 2019 review found that at any one-time prevalence of eating disorders is 4.6% in America, 2.2% in Europe and 3.5% in Asia .

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Athletes Eating Disorder Statistics

  • Athletes report higher rates of excessive exercise than nonathletes.14
  • Athletes are more likely to screen positive for an eating disorder than nonathletes, but percentages across all probable eating disorder diagnoses are similar.14
  • Athletes may be less likely to seek treatment for an eating disorder due to stigma, accessibility, and sportspecific barriers.14

Eating Disorders Are On The Rise

“Dying to be perfect” – Disproving eating disorder stereotypes

COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to individuals with eating disorders

Approximately 24 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. Moreover, eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid addiction, resulting in approximately 10,200 deaths each year.

Published April 2019 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition , Prevalence of Eating Disorders over the 20002018 Period: A Systematic Literature Review has reported a rise in eating disorders worldwide. According to Marie Galmiche et al., the prevalence of eating disorders increased over the study period from 3.5% for the 20002006 period to 7.8% for the 20132018 period. The study points out that although eating disorders are traditionally considered to affect mainly women, men represent a growing proportion of individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, two of the most common eating disorders. In addition, the authors pointed out that although eating disorders were classically thought to be confined to developed Western countries, this study also highlights the high prevalence of eating disorders in Asia and developing Middle-Eastern countries.

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How Devastating Are Eating Disorders

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, from medical complications associated with the illness as well as suicide. Bulimia is associated with severe medical complications, and binge eating disorder sufferers often experience the medical complications associated with obesity. In every case, eating disorders severely affect the quality of life of the sufferer and those that care for them.

Statistical Methods And Measurement Caveats

This webpage presents data from the following sources.

National Comorbidity Survey Replication

Diagnostic Assessment and Population:

  • The NCS-R is a nationally representative, face-to-face, household survey conducted between February 2001 and April 2003 with a response rate of 70.9%. DSM-IV mental disorders were assessed using a modified version of the fully structured World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview , a fully structured lay-administered diagnostic interview that generates both International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, and DSM-IV diagnoses. The DSM-IV criteria were used here. Participants for the main interview totaled 9,282 English-speaking, non-institutionalized, civilian respondents. Eating disorders were assessed in a subsample of 2,980 respondents. The Sheehan Disability Scales assessed disability in work role performance, household maintenance, social life, and intimate relationships on 010 scales. The NCS-R was led by Harvard University.

Survey Non-response:

  • In 2001-2002, non-response was 29.1% of primary respondents and 19.6% of secondary respondents. Reasons for non-response to interviewing include: refusal to participate respondent was reluctant- too busy but did not refuse circumstantial, such as intellectual developmental disability or overseas work assignment and household units that were never contacted .
  • For more information, see PMID: 15297905 and the NIMH NCS-R study page.

Survey Non-response:

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How Many People Receive Treatment For An Eating Disorder

  • Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment. According to eating disorders statistics, about 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity of treatment they need to stay inrecovery .
  • Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,800 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000,and it is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need anywhere from 3 to6 months of inpatient care.

General Eating Disorder Statistics

Eating Disorders: Symptoms and Responses
  • Eating disorders affect at least 9% of the population worldwide.1
  • 9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime.2
  • Less than 6% of people with eating disorders are medically diagnosed as underweight.1
  • 28-74% of risk for eating disorders is through genetic heritability.1
  • Eating disorders are among the deadliest mental illnesses, second only to opioid overdose.1
  • 10,200 deaths each year are the direct result of an eating disorderthats one death every 52 minutes.2
  • About 26% of people with eating disorders attempt suicide.1
  • The economic cost of eating disorders is $64.7 billion every year.2

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How Dangerous Are Eating Disorders

  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported the following eating disorder statistics:
  • 5-10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease and 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years.
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness .
  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15-24 years old.
  • Without treatment, up to 20% of people with serious eating disorders die. With treatment, the mortality rate falls to 2-3%.

Anorexia Has High Mortality Rates Read About The Symptoms Of Anorexia And How They Can Lead To Death

Anorexia can deteriorate a persons health and lead to death. It is characterized by a distorted perception of self-image and a compulsive tendency to restrict their food intake. According to Eating Disorder Hope, anorexia has the highest mortality rate among all psychiatric disorders. The disorder can cause starvation and life-threatening weight loss.

A 2011 study published in JAMA Psychiatry examined mortality rates among people with eating disorders, including anorexia. The report concluded that people with eating disorders have significantly elevated mortality rates and that anorexia was associated with the highest death rates. Researchers stated that young people with eating disorders are particularly susceptible to health complications that can lead to death.

Many of the effects of anorexia can progress into more serious health problems that can cause death. Anorexia can shrink the brain, produce dangerously low blood-sugar levels and significantly damage the skeletal system. This eating disorder can also reduce bone density that can bring about osteoporosis, which can be fatal. Osteopenia or osteoporosis can increase the risk of fractures.

Treatment for anorexia can reduce a persons risk of experiencing life-threatening health problems. People who experience anorexia and a substance use disorder can seek treatment at a rehab center. To learn more about how treatment can help people with anorexia and addiction, contact The Recovery Village.

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Anorexia Affects All Genders But Not Equally

While gender is not always a factor, research has shown that women and young girls are much more likely to develop an eating disorder than their male counterparts. Almost 10 percent of all women in the country will suffer from anorexia at some point in their lifetime. The odds for males developing anorexia is a third of that, with only 10 percent of all anorexia sufferers male.

Eating Disorder Statistics In Canada

Myths and Misperceptions about Eating Disorders | Retro Report

Do you know that of all mental illnesses, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate? Unfortunately, this is a true statement. Whats more, of people who have eating disorders, 10 to 20 percent eventually die from complications.

Here are other eating disorder statistics in Canada that you may not know:

  • In 2002, of females , 1.5 percent dealt with an eating disorder.
  • This same year, Four percent of males in ninth and tenth grade reported anabolic steroid use. This demonstrates how disordered body image touches not only women, but men also.
  • 0.3 percent of adolescent females have anorexia 1 percent have bulimia.
  • Many girls as young as five are aware of dieting and weight-loss.
  • Almost 30 percent of young women in ninth and tenth grade diet.
  • Of ninth grade females, 37 percent perceived themselves to be too fat. The same is true of tenth grade girls, only in their case, 40 percent have the same perception.
  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness it is estimated that 10 percent of individuals with anorexia nervosa will die within 10 years of the onset of the disorder.

These statistics are taken from a NEDIC fact sheet. To read more statistics about eating disorders in Canada, click here: .

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Free & Low Cost Support

Everyone deserves support for their eating concerns, and NEDA wants to connect you with resources that can help in addition to professional help. These free and low cost support options offer ways to connect with others and provide tools to promote recovery.

Please note that these options do not replace professional treatment. We are listing them as additional support options to supplement recovery or maintenance.

NEDA Forums

The NEDA Forums are available for individuals and loved ones looking to connect in a safe space about the eating disorder recovery process. All participants are required to agree to the . Non-compliance may result in banning future participation on the forums. The Forums are 24/7 and are moderated by volunteers trained by NEDA.

Support Groups

Support groups, though not a replacement for treatment, are a free or low-cost way to gain support from others. NEDA’s support group finder can help locate in-person groups and online options.

NEDA Network Virtual Support Groups

The NEDA Network is a partnership between NEDA and other mission-aligned organizations dedicated to advancing the field of eating disorders and building a community of support and hope. With nearly 20 member organizations, the NEDA Network provides a unified voice in the fight against eating disorders. The following is a list of virtual support group options offered by some of these Network organizations.

ANAD Online Support Groups

ANAD Recovery Mentors

How Many People Die From Anorexia Nervosa

Its not currently known how many people in total have died from anorexia nervosa. However, what we do know is that young people between the ages of 15 and 24 with anorexia have ten times the risk of dying compared to their same-aged peers58Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. . Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders: a meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of general psychiatry, 68, 724-731.. It is also worth noting that around 10,200 deaths in 2018-2019 in the USA were attributed to eating disorders, with anorexia nervosa making up a large proportion of these59STRIPED Harvard. 2020. Report: Economic Costs Of Eating Disorders. Available at: ..

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How Many People In The Uk Have An Eating Disorder

We believe approximately 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. Around 25% of those affected by an eating disorder are male.

Recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder .

The Health and Care Information Centre published figures in February 2014 showed an 8% rise in the number of inpatient hospital admissions in the 12 months previous to October 2013. The Costs of Eating Disorders report found that this is indicative of the trend in increasing prevalence over time: a 34% increase in admissions since 2005-06 – approximately 7% each year.

Mood And Anxiety Disorders Often Coincide With Anorexia

Eating Disorders: Treatment, Relapse, And Recovery

Much like other conditions, diseases, and illnesses, anorexia is often experienced in conjunction with other problems. Many people with eating disorders will receive a dual diagnosis. It has been found that almost half of all anorexia clients are also diagnosed with anxiety disorders like social phobia and obsessive-compulsive disorder, while anywhere from 30-50 percent of all clients are diagnosed with a mood disorder like depression.

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Eating Disorders Often Reduce Lifespan

Individuals with an eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia have a significantly higher risk of dying prematurely, compared to other people, UK researchers reported in Archives of General Psychiatry.

Somebody with anorexia has a 5.8-times greater risk of dying early, compared to healthy individuals with no eating disorders. Bulimia doubles the risk of premature death.

Patients diagnosed with anorexia in their 20s have 18 times the risk of death compared to healthy individuals of the same age.

Why people with eating disorders may die early is not always clear, the authors stressed. We know that approximately 20% of all deaths among people with anorexia is from suicide. In the majority of cases, higher mortality rates are due to the effects the eating disorder has on the body over the long term. Lead author, John Arcelus said that eating disorders have serious physical consequences.

Even though experts do not yet know exactly why people die, the researchers are sure that the main causes are physical problems caused by the illness.

Arcelus and team examined 36 studies on eating disorders between January 1, 1966, and September 30, 2010, involving 17,000 individuals, all with an eating disorders 755 of them died.

The authors found that 0.5% of those with anorexia died annually, a mortality rate five times that of comparable individuals without an eating disorder. Bulimia and other eating disorders had double the risk of death.

The authors concluded:

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