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How Many People In The Us Have An Eating Disorder

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Why Are Eating Disorders More Common In Men

My Eating Disorder Story: Anorexia and Bulimia

Males are often one of the least diagnosed populations of people with eating disorders. This is probably due to shame about admitting to what is wrongly assumed to be a disorder that only affects women. For this reason, the number of men with eating disorders is probably much higher than the statistics claim. Eating Disorders Statistics and Facts.

Eating Disorders Are On The Rise

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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.

Are There Any Binge Eating Disorder Complications

The health complications associated with binge eating disorder can include rapid weight fluctuations and mental health issues, but again, this eating disorder can be diagnosed at any weight. Only about a third of people with BED have clinical obesity, per the NED.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, these are some other binge eating disorder complications that can arise:

  • Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of changes in the body that can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease
  • Heart disease, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol
  • Sleep apnea

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How Many People Have An Eating Disorder In The United States


Besides, what percent of people have bulimia?

Bulimia statistics tell us that the lifetime prevalence of bulimia nervosa in the United States is 1.5% in women and 0.5% in men. This translates to approximate 4.7 million females and 1.5 million males who will have their lives threatened by this potentially deadly disorder.

Also, what percentage of adolescent females suffer from an eating disorder? Almost three percent of adolescents ages 13-18 are diagnosed with an eating disorder. Generally, adolescent girls are at a higher risk for developing an eating disorder than are boys. Eighty percent of adolescents and young adults with bulimia are female and about one quarter of children with anorexia are boys.

In this manner, what country has the highest rate of eating disorders?

It is fair to say that the increasing rate of eating disorders, Japan has the highest rate of prevalence, followed by Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea. Then following are the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, and Vietnam .

Which of the following is the most common eating disorder in the US?

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S., according to the National Eating Disorders Association. 2 It’s characterized by episodes of eating large amounts of food, often quickly and to the point of discomfort.

Males Eating Disorder Statistics

The Problem
  • Males make up about 1 in 3 cases of those diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia
  • Males have near equal rates of binge eating disorder diagnoses as females
  • Males requiring hospitalization for an eating disorder has increased over 400% since the 1990s
  • Males make up about 65% of those diagnosed with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
  • Males are more likely to express their eating disorder thoughts in concepts about leanness and muscularity than concerns about weight, often with a diagnosis of Muscle Dysmorphia rather than an eating disorder. However, the connection to rigid and unbreakable rules about meals and food choices put this diagnosis more firmly in the eating disorder category according to research experts.

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What Causes Eating Disorders

There’s no single cause for eating disorders. Genes, environment, and stressful events all play a role. Some things can increase a person’s chance of having an eating disorder, such as:

  • poor body image
  • too much focus on weight or looks
  • dieting at a young age
  • playing sports that focus on weight
  • having a family member with an eating disorder
  • mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or OCD

Mood And Anxiety Disorders Often Coincide With Anorexia

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 Disorder Statistics For Children And Adolescents

  • Anorexia is the third most common chronic illness among adolescents.
  • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight.
  • According to Time magazine, 80% of all children have been on a diet by the time they’ve reached fourth grade.
  • 86% of people with eating disorders report onset of an eating disorder by age 20.
  • 10% report onset at ten years or younger.

Lgbtq+ Eating Disorder Statistics

The 3 Types of Eating Disorders & How to Spot Them
  • Gay men are seven times more likely to report binge-eating and twelve times more likely to report purging than heterosexual men.6
  • Gay and bisexual boys are significantly more likely to fast, vomit, or take laxatives or diet pills to control their weight.6
  • Transgender college students report experiencing disordered eating at approximately four times the rate of their cisgender classmates.7
  • 32% of transgender people report using their eating disorder to modify their body without hormones.8
  • 56% of transgender people with eating disorders believe their disorder is not related to their physical body.8
  • Gender dysphoria and body dissatisfaction in transgender people is often cited as a key link to eating disorders.7
  • Non-binary people may restrict their eating to appear thin, consistent with the common stereotype of androgynous people in popular culture.7

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The Most Common Binge Eating Disorder Symptoms To Know

Binge eating disorder is a seemingly straightforward label for a really complex condition. The binge eating part sounds clear enough: eating too much, too fast, until youre too full. And the disorder part implies the eating pattern has health consequences.

But the simplicity of the name doesnt capture the wide array of binge eating disorder symptoms, causes, triggers, and profound emotional effects this condition can have. It doesnt reveal how devastating it can be.

On the other hand, it also doesnt hint at the hope there is for treating what has become the most common eating disorder in America, according to the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases .

While binge eating disorder may be widely misunderstood in the public , there are trained experts who deeply understand the complexities of this eating disorder and how to help people who are dealing with it. It may not be an easy journey, but it is a worthwhile one to get your life back. The first step is learning how to spot the signs of binge eating disorder. Full disclosure: Some of the details this article covers may be triggering if you are dealing with something similar.

What Are Signs And Symptoms Of An Eating Disorder

People who answer yes to a significant number of these questions may have an eating problem. If you are concerned that you may have a problem please contact your doctor, a mental health professional or call our clinic at 646-774-8066.

  • I worry about gaining weight.
  • I am preoccupied with losing weight.
  • I frequently diet or feel the need to be on a diet.
  • My mood depends on my weight, and if I gain a pound I can be depressed or irritable.
  • I feel bad about myself if I gain weight.
  • If I gain one pound, I worry that I will continue to gain weight.
  • I think of certain foods as being either “good” or “bad” and feel guilty about eating bad foods.
  • I use food to comfort myself.
  • At times when I am eating I feel I have lost control.
  • I spend a significant amount of time thinking about food and when I will eat.
  • I try to hide how much I eat.
  • I have thought about or have self-induced vomiting as a way to control my weight.
  • After eating, I may use laxatives, diuretics or exercise to prevent weight gain.
  • I am dissatisfied with my body size and shape.
  • I eat until I am stuffed.

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Eating Disorders In Men

Although American women struggle with eating disorders more frequently than men do, men also face eating disorders. Approximately 10 million American men will experience eating disorders during their lifetimes, according to data from Mental Health America.

Eating disorders in men may stem from a variety of issues, including:

  • Excessive, or unsafe, dieting
  • Muscle dysmorphia, an obsession with becoming more muscular
  • Body dysmorphic disorder , a mental health condition associated with perceived physical flaws

Unfortunately, it is widely believed that men rarely develop eating disorders. This belief can lead to a later diagnosis from medical professionals and can increase the risk of death associated with these disorders among men.

How Many People Currently Have An Eating Disorder

How can we bring more awareness to eating disorders and ...

Worldwide, up 70 million people have an eating disorder. This includes 5.5 million people from America54Deloitte Access Economics: Social and economic cost of eating disorders in the United States of America. Report published June 2020, nearly 3 million people from the UK and more than 900,000 people from 2020. Paying The Price: The Economic And Social Impact Of Eating Disorders In Australia. Available at: have an eating disorder.

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How Common Are Eating Disorders

  • Approximately 30 million Americans live with an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness among adolescent females in the United States.
  • 10 million men in the U.S. will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime.
  • The lifetime prevalence of eating disorders is highest among those with a binge eating disorder .

What If I Have An Eating Disorder

If you think you may have an eating disorder:

Tell someone. Tell a parent, teacher, counselor, or an adult you trust. Let them know what you’re going through. Ask them to help.

Get help early. When an eating disorder is caught early, a person has a better chance of recovery. Make an appointment with your doctor or an eating disorders specialist.

Go to all appointments. Treatment takes time and effort. Work hard to learn about yourself and your emotions. Ask questions any time you have them.

Be patient with yourself. There’s so much to learn, and change happens a little at a time. Take care of yourself and be with people who support you.

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General Eating Disorder Statistics

  • 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

Eating Disorder Statistics By Age

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  • Globally, 13% of women older than 50 experience disordered eating behaviors.
  • The median age of eating disorder onset was 21 years old for binge eating disorder and 18 years old for anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
  • The lifetime prevalence of eating disorders in the U.S. was 2.7% among adolescents as of 2001-2004.
  • Of adolescents with eating disorders, the 17- to 18-year-old age group had the highest prevalence .

Researchers followed a group of 496 adolescent girls in a U.S. city over a span of eight years and found that by the age of 20:

  • More than 5% of the girls met the criteria for anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder.
  • More than 13% of the girls had experienced an eating disorder when including non-specific eating disorder symptoms.

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Eating Disorder Statistics & Research

Eating disorder statistics, studies, and research are surprisingly difficult to find. Occasionally you will find websites and articles that reference a few key studies, but they are few and far between outside of university or clinical journals and papers. Weve put together some of the key statistics on eating disorders here for our readers.

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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What Is Binge Eating Disorder Exactly

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders describes binge eating disorder as eating more than an average amount of food in a limited timeframeusually around two hourswhile feeling out of control.

Thats a very basic description of this disorder, but most people will have a variety of behaviors and feelings around binge eating. According to the National Eating Disorder Association , the key factors for diagnosis include:

  • Recurrent episodes of binge eating
  • Extreme distress over binge eating episodes
  • Not compensating for binge eating with behaviors like purging or exercise
  • Episodes that include three or more of the following:
  • Eating very rapidly
  • Eating until you feel uncomfortably full
  • Eating large quantities of food despite not feeling physically hungry
  • Eating alone due to embarrassment about how much you are consuming
  • Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty about overeating

For some, binge eating starts as a way to cope and self-soothe in a bad situation, like if a person is dealing with trauma or abuse. For others, its a response to food insecurity. Thats when there is plenty to eat after payday and not enough later on, which can trigger you to eat while you can.1

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Bipoc* Eating Disorder Statistics


* BIPOC refers to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

  • BIPOC are significantly less likely than white people to have been asked by a doctor about eating disorder symptoms.3
  • BIPOC with eating disorders are half as likely to be diagnosed or to receive treatment.2
  • Black people are less likely to be diagnosed with anorexia than white people but may experience the condition for a longer period of time.4
  • Black teenagers are 50% more likely than white teenagers to exhibit bulimic behavior, such as binge-eating and purging.3
  • Hispanic people are significantly more likely to suffer from bulimia nervosa than their non-Hispanic peers.3
  • Asian American college students report higher rates of restriction compared with their white peers and higher rates of purging, muscle building, and cognitive restraint than their white or non-Asian, BIPOC peers.5
  • Asian American college students report higher levels of body dissatisfaction and negative attitudes toward obesity than their non-Asian, BIPOC peers.5

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How Do Eating Disorders Affect Health And Emotions

Eating disorders can cause serious problems throughout the body.

Anorexia can lead to health problems caused by undernutrition and low body weight, such as:

  • low blood pressure
  • feeling tired, weak, dizzy, or faint
  • constipation and bloating

Definition Risk Factors And Consequences

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by a persons obsession with getting the ideal body shape or weight. Rather than eating a healthy diet, people with anorexia will develop unhealthy relationships with food by limiting food intake, to achieve their idea of the perfect body. When you limit your food intake or quit eating altogether, it can have serious consequences on the body, mind, and soul.

No one is certain of the cause of eating disorders, but certain factors can put you at a greater risk for developing anorexia, such as genetics and family history. People with low self-esteem, social difficulties, and those who feel pressure from culture and society are at an increased risk of developing anorexia as well.

When anorexia and other eating disorders go untreated, they can have dire consequences. Anorexia can lead to malnutrition in-turn creating fatigue, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, a slowing metabolism, and problems with the kidneys, liver, and thyroid. Anorexia can also create problems with the way your brain functions, affecting how quickly you can think and react, how well you concentrate, and how well you can balance your mood. When left untreated for too long, anorexia and its consequences could lead to death.

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