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What Are The Statistics Of Eating Disorders

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Veterans Eating Disorder Statistics

Mental Health Minute: Eating Disorders
  • The most common type of eating disorders among military members is bulimia nervosa.15
  • Body dysmorphic disorder affects 1-3% of the overall population but 13% of male military members and 21.7% of female military members.15
  • A survey of 3,000 female military members found that the majority of respondents exhibited eating disorder symptoms.15
  • One study found high rates of body dissatisfaction and previous disordered eating behaviors in a sample of young, female Marine Corps recruits.15

Overview Of Eating Disorders Today

  • The number of people in Australia with an eating disorder at any given time is estimated to be around 1 million, or approximately 4% of the population .
  • Eating disorders, when combined with disordered eating together, are estimated to affect 16.3% of the Australian population .
  • Binge Eating Disorder and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders are the most common eating disorders, affecting approximately 6% and 5%, of the total population respectively, while Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa each occur in below 1% of the general population .
  • Lifetime prevalence for eating disorders is approximately 9% of the Australian population .
  • A recent review found that worldwide, lifetime prevalence of eating disorders was 8.4% for women and 2.2% for men. The results also showed that the prevalence has been increasing over time .

Eating Disorders Among Athletes

Athletes are under enormous pressure to perform well and be physically in shape. However, this pressure can lead to disordered eating habits and the development of eating disorders.

Available data on the prevalence of eating disorders in athletes include:

  • A study cited by the National Eating Disorders Association reported that more than one-third of female Division 1 NCAA athletes held attitudes and symptoms of anorexia nervosa
  • In a study of female Division II athletes, 25 percent struggled with disordered eating
  • Of athletes in weight-class and aesthetic sports, approximately 33 percent of men and 62 percent of women struggle with disordered eating
  • One multi-university study of 204 female collegiate athletes in 17 different sports reported that 2 percent had an eating disorder and more than 25 percent exhibited eating disorder symptoms

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How Common Are Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect millions of people in the U.S. every year. The following statistics offer a snapshot of how widespread eating disorders are:

  • About 30 million American adults will have an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime.
  • An estimated 1 in 5 U.S. women will experience an eating disorder before the age of 40.
  • About 1 in 7 American men develop an eating disorder before turning 40.

Some eating disorders are more common than others. A 2018 study found the following lifetime and 12-month prevalence rates of anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder among U.S. adults:

Eating Disorder Statistics Among U.S. Adults
Eating Disorder
0.85% 0.44%

ARFID prevalence rates are less well-known. However, some studies suggest that around 5% to 14% of children and youth in inpatient eating disorder programs and about 22.5% of children and teens in day treatment programs for eating disorders meet the diagnostic criteria for ARFID.

Eating disorders appear to have become more common in recent years. One review of worldwide data found that eating disorder diagnoses more than doubled from 2000 to 2018. This trend was consistent across different regions, age groups, and genders.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers noticed a particularly significant uptick in the number of people seeking treatment for eating disorders.

What Are Eating Disorders

Health Observation: Eating Disorders: in Infographics

An eating disorder is when a person has an unhealthy relationship with food, which can take over their life and make them ill. It commonly starts in young people aged 13 to 17 years old. An eating disorder diagnosis is based on eating patterns, which include tests on weight, blood factors, and BMI.

Someone with an eating disorder may find their behaviour towards eating changes. For example, they may worry a lot about their weight and shape, make sudden major changes to their diet, avoid social situations that involve food and/or make themselves vomit after meals. They may experience fainting or feel cold or dizzy, which are all signs of starvation.

There are different types of eating disorders, which are explained below:

Anorexia NervosaBy not eating enough food or exercising too much, people with this condition keep their weight down. This could cause them to starve their body of essential nutrients, which can make them very ill.

Bulimia NervosaBy bingeing and then getting rid of the calories in unhealthy ways, people with this condition can make themselves sick, use laxatives, exercise too much, or take medication or use diet supplements.

Binge-eating disorder:This is where some people regularly eat large portions of food all at once until they feel uncomfortably full, and then often feel guilty or upset.

OSFED:This refers to other specified feeding or eating disorder and means they dont have all the typical symptoms of one of the types above.

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Eating Disorders And Lgbtiqa+ Communities

  • People who are LGBTIQA+ are at a greater risk for disordered eating behaviours .
  • Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens may be at higher risk of binge eating than their heterosexual peers .
  • A review from the United States found that lifetime prevalence for eating disorders is higher among sexual minority adults compared with cisgender heterosexual adults however, more detailed research is required .

Eating Disorders In Women

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating disorders are more prevalent among women than men. Approximately 20 million American women experience eating disorders at some point in their lives.

Statistics from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reveal that some of the most common eating disorders in women include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: Up to 95 percent of people who have anorexia are female.
  • Bulimia nervosa: Approximately 80 percent of people with bulimia are women.
  • Binge eating disorder: Rates of binge eating disorder are approximately the same among men and women.

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What Is The Lifetime Prevalence Of Bulimia Nervosa

The lifetime prevalence of bulimia nervosa is estimated to be around 1.21% for men and 2.59% for women66Bagaric, M., Touyz, S., Heriseanu, A., Conti, J., & Hay, P. . Are bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder increasing? Results of a populationbased study of lifetime prevalence and lifetime prevalence by age in South Australia. European Eating Disorders Review, 28, 260-268.

People In Larger Bodies Eating Disorder Statistics

An Eating Disorder Specialist Explains How Trauma Creates Food Disorders
  • Less than 6% of people with eating disorders are medically diagnosed as underweight.21
  • Larger body size is both a risk factor for developing an eating disorder and a common outcome for people who struggle with bulimia and binge eating disorder.12
  • People in larger bodies are half as likely as those at a normal weight or underweight to be diagnosed with an eating disorder.13

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How To Get Help For An Eating Disorder

If you or someone you know struggles with an eating disorder, treatment is available. For immediate assistance, or help in evaluating your options, you can:

  • Text the National Eating Disorders Association acronym NEDA to to instantly connect with a trained crisis counselor on the Crisis Text Line or .
  • Use the SAMHSA behavioral health treatment locator and filter the results by zip code, types of treatment and practicing medical professionals

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Helping Someone With An Eating Disorder

If someone you care about has an eating disorder, or is starting to show some of the symptoms, encourage them to see their GP and perhaps offer to go along with them. Letting them know they are valued, that you support them and are willing to listen to them without judgement or criticism can be helpful. Beat has further guidance on supporting a loved one with an eating disorder.

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People With Disabilities Eating Disorder Statistics

  • Women with physical disabilities are more likely to develop eating disorders.9
  • 20-30% of adults with eating disorders also have autism.10
  • 3-10% of children and young people with eating disorders also have autism.10
  • 20% of women with anorexia have high levels of autistic traits. There is some evidence that these women benefit the least from current eating disorder treatment models.10
  • ADHD is the most commonly missed diagnosis in relation to disordered eating.11

People In Larger Bodies

The Facts About Eating Disorders [INFOGRAPHIC]

People often assume that you can tell if someone has an eating disorder just by looking at them. This is not the case. Eating disorders can occur in people who are underweight, normal weight, or those considered to be overweight.

For example, people who have bulimia nervosa may be of normal weight or even overweight. A study reported that less than 6% of people with eating disorders are medically diagnosed as âunderweight.”

NEDA reports that children who live in larger bodies and are teased about their weight are more like to participate in extreme weight control measures, binge eating, and experience weight gain.

The same goes for adults. Those who live in larger bodies and experience weight-based stigmatization are more likely to engage in more frequent binge eating, are at increased risk of eating disorder symptoms, and are more likely to have a diagnosis of binge eating disorder.

They are also half as likely as those who are “underweight” or “normal weight” to be diagnosed with an eating disorder.

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Where To Find Help

While all types of eating disorders may lead to serious mental and physical side effects, they are thankfully treatable. And ones treatment plan will depend on his or her individual situation. There also are several hotlines you can contact if you are worried about yourself or a loved one. Lastly, we are here to help you at Eating Disorder Recovery Specialists. You may contact us via phone , , or by filling out our contact form.

It Is One Of The Most Common Illnesses Among Teens

Though it has been found that older age groups are experiencing an incline in eating disorder diagnoses, young adults and teenagers are the most likely to develop and suffer from anorexia. In fact, anorexia is the third most common illness experienced among teens. Anywhere from 1-5 percent of all females age 15-22 will develop anorexia, with an average onset age of 17. This can be associated with the cultural and societal pressures associated with fitting in, social media, and low self-esteem.

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Can I Be Detained In Hospital Under The Mental Health Act

Eating disorders are mental disorders. Your life may be at risk if your eating disorder is very bad. You may need treatment in hospital. If you refuse treatment you can be sent to hospital. You can be treated against your will under the Mental Health Act.

How will doctors decide if I should be detained under the Mental Health Act?

Doctors will look at risk to decide if you need to be sent to hospital. They should not base their decision on your weight or body mass index alone. Other things they will look at include:

  • your pulse, blood pressure and core temperature,
  • muscle power,
  • blood tests for things like your sodium, potassium and glucose levels, and
  • your heart rate.

Can I be force-fed?

Feeding is recognised as treatment for anorexia under the Mental Health Act.

The person in charge of your care under the Mental Health Act is called the responsible clinician. This person will be a psychiatrist or another professional who has had specialist training.

A responsible clinician must be appointed to look after your care if you are detained on a medical ward.

You can find more information about the Mental Health Act by clicking here.

Getting Help For An Eating Disorder

Eating and Body Dysmorphic Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #33

If you think you may have an eating disorder, see a GP as soon as you can.

A GP will ask about your eating habits and how you’re feeling, plus check your overall health and weight.

They may refer you to an eating disorder specialist or team of specialists.

It can be very hard to admit you have a problem and ask for help. It may make things easier if you bring a friend or loved one with you to your appointment.

You can also talk in confidence to an adviser from eating disorders charity Beat by calling their adult helpline on 0808 801 0677 or youth helpline on 0808 801 0711.

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Getting Help For Someone Else

It can be difficult to know what to do if you’re worried that someone has an eating disorder.

They may not realise they have an eating disorder. They may also deny it, or be secretive and defensive about their eating or weight.

Let them know you’re worried about them and encourage them to see a GP. You could offer to go along with them.

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.

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Canadian Facts And Statistics

Eating disorders are consistently gaining more recognition as severe mental illnesses. With more awareness, patients with eating disorders may access help before the effects of their conditions become irreversible. Here are a few facts and figures about eating disorders in Canada, from reports published between 2013 and 2016.

1. Eating disorder prevalence is higher than what is documented

  • At any particular time, between 600,000 and 990,000 Canadians fit diagnostic criteria for eating disorders.
  • About 80% of eating disorder patients are women
  • Anorexia occurs in 0.5% of the population while bulimia is at 1%

2. Anorexia and bulimia affect women more, while Binge Eating Disorder affects both genders equally

  • About 25% of women with healthy weight view themselves as obese
  • Women who are dieting are approximately 56%
  • Bulimia occurrence in women is between 1% and 4% while anorexia is at 0.5% to 4%. Binge eating for all people is at 2%.

3. Eating disorders are potentially fatal

  • Between 15% and 20% of anorexics progress to its chronic form
  • Between 10% and 15% of anorexics will die in under ten years
  • The estimated mortality rate in bulimia is 5%
  • Females aged between 15 and 24 years are 12 times more likely to die from anorexia than from other causes combined
  • On average, bulimia lasts at least eight years

4. Adolescents and young adults are at a higher risk of developing eating disorders

5. Eating disorders often co-occur with other mental illnesses.

Prevalence Of Eating Disorders

Facts About Eating Disorders in the U.S.

Approximately 30 million Americans struggle with eating disorders. At least one person dies from an eating disorder every 62 minutes in America. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, ethnicity or culture. There are many different types of eating disorders. Some of the most common in America are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the lifetime prevalence rates of eating disorders in Americans ages 18 and older include:

  • Binge eating disorder: 2.8 percent of American adults.
  • Bulimia nervosa: 1 percent of American adults.
  • Anorexia nervosa: 0.6 percent of American adults.

Except for anorexia being disproportionately high among non-Hispanic Caucasians, the prevalence of eating disorders across the United States is similar among the Hispanic, non-Hispanic Caucasian, African-American and Asian populations. Regardless of demographic, the high rate of eating disorders in America means that reliable, effective treatment options are necessary.

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Check If You Have An Eating Disorder

If you or people around you are worried that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, you could have an eating disorder.

Symptoms of eating disorders include:

  • spending a lot of time worrying about your weight and body shape
  • avoiding socialising when you think food will be involved
  • eating very little food
  • cutting food into small pieces or eating very slowly
  • wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide their weight loss

Eating Disorder Awareness Uk Statistics

Sadly. eating disorders are responsible for more loss of life than any other mental health conditions and they are unfortunately becoming more frequent. This health condition has become a common concern in the UK and around the world in the last 30 40 years.

Below are some key facts about UK Eating Disorder Statistics:

Between 1.25 and 3.4 million people in the UK are estimated to be directly affected by eating disorders..

Around 25% of those affected by an eating disorder are male.

Eating disorders are most common in individuals between the ages of 16 and 40 years old.

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rates among psychiatric disorders.

The average duration of an eating disorder is 6 years.

UK Eating Disorder Statistics:

There were 19,040 admissions to hospital in the UK related to eating disorders in 2018/19. This is up from 13,885 in the previous financial year.

Anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder affect 10% of persons in the UK at some point during their lives.

The entire cost of eating disorders to the NHS is £1.26 billion each year.

According to NHS figures, 25% of admissions to UK hospitals for eating disorders in 2018/19 were for children under the age of 18.

Only 15% of respondents in a 2008 survey said UK GPs understood eating disorders and could give helpful support.

Anorexia Nervosa statistics:

Over the course of their lives, between 2 and 4% of women will develop anorexia nervosa.

Bulimia Nervosa statistics:

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