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Who Are Eating Disorders Most Common In

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The Dangers Of Eating Disorders

The Most Common Eating Disorder You’ve Never Heard Of

Eating disorders are very dangerous and even harder to overcome. Unless the patient has been hospitalized, there is often little incentive to change or seek out treatment. Early detection and treatment from clinics like Eden Treatment improve the recovery rate substantially, whereas those who only receive treatment after being forced to following hospitalization will more likely experience a relapse.

Early detection and treatment are key, as eating disorders are deadly.

Global Eating Disorder Statistics

According to the Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness, more than 70 million people worldwide and 24 million Americans have been diagnosed or display symptoms of an eating disorder. Outside of the United States, eating disorders are less common, especially in cultures where curves and plumpness are considered more attractive due to its association with fertility, prosperity and economic security. In Muslim societies where women have more restrictive social roles, there are lower rates of eating disorders.

Getting Help For An Eating Disorder

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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Eating Disorders And Athletes

  • Disordered eating can occur in any , in any sport, at any time, crossing boundaries of gender, age, body size, culture, socioeconomic background, athletic calibre and ability .
  • Overall, there is a higher prevalence of disordered eating and eating disorders in athletes compared to non-athletes .
  • It is estimated that up to 45% of females and up to 19% of male athletes experience disordered eating and/or an eating disorder .
  • Research shows that people who engage in aesthetic, gravitational and weight-class sports such asweight-lifting, boxing, horse racing, rowing, gymnastics, swimming, figure skating and danceare at higher risk of disordered eating and/or an eating disorder .

Who Is At Risk For Eating Disorders

Past the Restriction Point: 5 of the Most Common Eating Disorder Types ...

Eating disorders can affect people of all ages, racial/ethnic backgrounds, body weights, and genders. Although eating disorders often appear during the teen years or young adulthood, they may also develop during childhood or later in life .

Remember: People with eating disorders may appear healthy, yet be extremely ill.

The exact cause of eating disorders is not fully understood, but research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors can raise a persons risk.

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Eating Disorder Statistics By Age

  • 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.

If I Take Medicine To Treat Anorexia Can I Breastfeed My Baby

Maybe. Some medicines used to treat anorexia can pass through breastmilk. Certain antidepressants can be used safely during breastfeeding.

Talk to your doctor to find out which medicine works best for you. Learn more about medicines and breastfeeding in our Breastfeeding section. You can also enter a medicine into the LactMed® database to find out if the medicine passes through breastmilk and about any possible side effects for your nursing baby.

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The Most Common Eating Disorder

The most common eating disorder is probably binge eating disorder, affecting 2-3% of the U.S. adult population at some point in their lifetime. 1 The qualifier probably is used here because, due to the secretive and private nature of binge eating disorder and eating disorders in general, accurate statistics are difficult to obtain.

Although anorexia nervosa may be the most widely recognized eating disorder, it is not as prevalent

Binge eating disorder will gain more prominence in the public sphere in 2013 because it will be included in the DSM 5, the new edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It was not included in prior editions.

In addition to being a problem on its own, binge eating disorder also occurs as part of bulimia nervosa. The cause of binge eating is unkown but as many as half of people with binge eating disorder also suffer from depression. 2

Treatment is usually a combination of behavioral therapy, antidepressant medication and nutritional education. Remission rates are high but the overall prognosis is higher than it is for bulimia. 3

Binge eating disorder is 1.5 times more common in women than in men.

Signs Of An Eating Disorder To Watch For

Most Common Eating Disorders | Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, as you can see, are not something to be taken lightly. Whats more, just like a substance use disorders, behavioral addictions like eating disorders are a disease, not a choice.

But just like any other disease, it often takes professional help in order to overcome an eating disorder.

If you or someone you know might be suffering from anorexia, bulimia, BED, or any other eating disorder you owe it to yourself and to them to seek out help. And the first step towards recovery is identifying the problem.

One of the best eating disorder tests is spotting the symptoms. Listed below are some signs to watch out for. While these disorders are not limited to expressing these symptoms, its certainly a good place to start.

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Eating to the point of being uncomfortably full
  • Eating alone due to being embarrassed
  • Continually eating, even when you are not hungry
  • Feeling guilty, depressed, or disgusted after the meal

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Eating Disorder Statistics By Sex

  • Eating disorders were more prevalent among young women than men in the U.S. as of 2001-2004.
  • A quarter of those with anorexia are male. Men have an increased risk of dying because they are diagnosed much later than women. This could be in part due to the misconception that men do not experience eating disorders.

Other Specified Feeding And Eating Disorder

This diagnostic category includes eating disorders or disturbances of eating behavior that cause distress and impair family, social or work function but do not fit the other categories listed here. In some cases, this is because the frequency of the behavior dose not meet the diagnostic threshold or the weight criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa are not met.

An example of other specified feeding and eating disorder is “atypical anorexia nervosa”. This category includes individuals who may have lost a lot of weight and whose behaviors and degree of fear of fatness is consistent with anorexia nervosa, but who are not yet considered underweight based on their BMI because their baseline weight was above average.

Since speed of weight loss is related to medical complications, individuals who lose a lot of weight rapidly by engaging in extreme weight control behaviors can be at high risk of medical complications, even if they appear normal or above average weight.

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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

Strategies To Try At Home

An Overview of the 3 Most Common Eating Disorders

Here are some self-help strategies based on some of the interventions above that you can do on your own to improve body image:

  • Keep a body gratitude journal. A daily routine that includes self-deprecating comments about your body is likely making you feel worse. In order to come to a more balanced perspective, it is important to start to shift your attention and appreciate good things about your body. One way to achieve this is to keep a body gratitude journal. Try to write something daily that is positive about your body. You can include things like, I had a good hair day, My legs allowed me to hike up the canyon, or My arms allowed me to hug my child. At first, It may be hard, but it will get easier with practice.

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What Is The Prognosis For People Who Have Eating Disorders

People who get treatment for eating disorders often recover and go on to lead healthy lives. Its helpful to detect a problem early and start treatment right away.

There are different levels of care, including:

  • Outpatient therapy .
  • Intensive outpatient therapy .
  • Inpatient therapy .

Your primary care doctor will work with you to decide what level of treatment would be right for you.

Left untreated, people with eating disorders can develop life-threatening complications. Some people may need to receive medical and mental health care at a hospital or treatment center.

Early Signs Of Binge Eating Disorder:

30% of people struggling with Binge Eating Disorder have been grappling with it since childhood. With statistics like that, it is imperative to know what to know for at an early age.

Below are some potential childhood risk factors for developing Binge Eating Disorder:

  • Eating in secret or overeating from ages 0-5
  • Having strict rules around bad or not allowed foods in your household when you were a child
  • The presence of family perceptions and goals around weight, like maternal body dissatisfaction, the focus of thinness, etc.
  • For girls, having a male friend or a father with Binge Eating Disorder increases Binge Eating Disorder risk.

Research also indicates that people who struggled with Binge Eating Disorder as children are more likely to experience bulimia. They may also experience various forms of emotional disturbances as they become adults. They are also more likely to experience more severe binge eating symptoms.

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Theres A Genetic Predisposition To Binge Eating Disorder

A close family history of depression or addictionwhether to drugs, alcohol or painkillershas been shown to coincide with eating disorders, including BED . Those with genetic conditions such as celiac disease and Crohns, which require restricted eating regimes, have been shown to be more prone to developing binge eating disorder, Murphy says, though no actual genetic link between the two has been found.

Prevalence Of Eating Disorders Among Ethnic Minorities

Types of Eating Disorders

In the past, eating disorders have been characterized as culture-bound syndromes, specific to Caucasian subjects in Western, industrialized societies . This assumption may be due to the fact that they are the most likely to seek treatment. Recent studies demonstrate that eating disorders do affect other cultures, ethnicities and regions as well, and are possibly on the rise . However, these groups do not fit the stereotype, and more importantly, do not seek treatment as often, making it more challenging for untrained clinicians to recognize the signs and symptoms.

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How Is Eating Disorders Diagnosed

Because eating disorders can be so serious, it is important to seek help if you or a loved one thinks that you might have a problem. Your health care provider may use many tools to make a diagnosis:

  • A medical history, which includes asking about your symptoms. It is important to be honest about your eating and exercise behaviors so your provider can help you.
  • A physical exam
  • Blood or urine tests to rule out other possible causes of your symptoms
  • Other tests to see whether you have any other health problems caused by the eating disorder. These can include kidney function tests and an electrocardiogram .

People In Larger Bodies

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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Not All People With Binge Eating Disorder Are Overweight

While many binge eaters are overweight, you can be of normal weight while suffering from the disorder. Its interesting to note that most obese people dont engage in recurrent binge eating episodes, says Murphy. Experts say giant portions, a diet high in factors like calories, saturated fat and fast foods, as well as a sedentary lifestyle all contribute to obesity much more so than the loss-of-control binge eating episodes that characterize binge eating disorder.

Bed Was Only Recently Recognized As A Disorder

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In 2013, BED was finally categorized as a recognizable and treatable diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders produced by the American Psychiatric Association. This was incredibly important to the treatment of the disease since a diagnosis that can be documented leads to greater access to care for sufferers. For example, most health insurance companies wont provide coverage for mental illness treatments that dont have an officially recognized DSM-5 diagnosis. Since its now listed as a disorder, many insurance plans cover treatment.

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Availability Of Data And Materials

The data that support the findings of this study are available from The Research Unit on Childrens Psychosocial maladjustment but restrictions apply to the availability of these data, which were used under license for the current study, and so are not publicly available. Data are however available from the authors upon reasonable request and with permission of the GRIP.

Are There Clinical Trials Studying Eating Disorders

NIMH supports a wide range of research, including clinical trials that look at new ways to prevent, detect, or treat diseases and conditions, including eating disorders. Although individuals may benefit from being part of a clinical trial, participants should be aware that the primary purpose of a clinical trial is to gain new scientific knowledge so that others may be better helped in the future.

Researchers at NIMH and around the country conduct clinical trials with patients and healthy volunteers. Talk to your health care provider about clinical trials, their benefits and risks, and whether one is right for you. For more information about clinical research and how to find clinical trials being conducted around the country, visit NIMH’s clinical trials webpage.

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Identifying Bed Vs Occasional Overindulgence

So whats the difference between people who have BED and people who say theyve been so bad for pigging out too much lately?

What youre hearing is the development of an environment that shames our food behaviors, Walen explains. The fear is becoming fat. There are plenty of people who will do some disordered behaviors from time to time, but someone is either genetically predisposed to having an eating disorder or theyre not. We need to remember genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger.

This is a disease of the brain, not the body.

When it comes to warning signs of BED, there are several emotional, mental and behavioral characteristics to consider. Eating in secrecy to the point of being painfully full and then feeling shameful or guilty at least once a week, every week, for three months could indicate a problem. For an easy screening tool, the BEDS-7 questionnaire is a good starting point, Walen suggests.

Recovery from BED involves working with specialized therapists who can help patients face their anxiety around food and figure out where they are struggling emotionally.

Anecdotally, most binge eaters who are asked in treatment when they think their behaviors with food started, most will point to early childhood, as young as 5, Walen says.

Bipoc Eating Disorder Statistics

3 Common Types of Eating Disorders
  • 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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