FactsFive to ten million American woman suffer from eating disorders.
In the United States, conservative estimates indicate that after puberty, 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or borderline conditions.
The Prevalence of Eating Disorders:
The Drive for Thinness:
Anorexia, bulimia and binge-eating disorder are diseases that affect the mind and body simultaneously. National Institute of Mental Health. (1994). Eating disorders. NIH Publication No. 94-3477. Rockville, MD.
Three percent of adolescent and adult women and 1% of men have anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. (1994). Eating disorders. NIH Publication No. 94-3477. Rockville, MD.
A young woman with anorexia is 12 times more likely to die than other women her age without anorexia. Sullivan, P.F. (1995). Mortality in Anorexia Nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 152(7), 1073-1074.
Fifteen percent of young women have substantially disordered eating attitudes and behaviors. Mintz, L.B., & Betz, N.E. (1988). Prevalence and correlates of eating disordered behaviors among undergraduate women. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 35(4), 463-471. Between 10% and 15% of those diagnosed with bulimia are men. Males with eating disorders: Challenges for treatment and research Andersen, A.E., & Holman, J.E. (1997). Males with eating disorders: Challenges for treatment and research. Psychopharmacology Bulletin, 33(3), 391-397.
Forty percent of fourth graders report that they diet either "very often" or "sometimes." Weight-related behaviors and concerns of fourth-grade children Gustafson-Larson, A., & Terry, R.D. (1992). Weight-related behaviors and concerns of fourth-grade children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 92, 818-822.
About half of those with anorexia or bulimia have a full recovery, 30% have a partial recovery, and 20% have no substantial improvement. Long-term outcome of bulimia nervosa Keel, P.K., Mitchell, J.E., Miller, K.B., Davis, T.L., & Crow, S.J. (1999). Long-term outcome of bulimia nervosa. Archives of General Psychiatry, 56(1), 63-69.
Ten to 22 percent of persons diagnosed with an eating disorder die as a result. The Eating Disorders Institute at Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis Fact sheet
Two to five percent of persons diagnosed with eating disorders commit suicide. The Eating Disorders Institute at Methodist Hospital in Minneapolis. Fact sheet.
The two most common times reported for eating disorder onset is puberty, and late teen or early adult years. NEDA
Seventy-seven percent of people diagnosed with eating disorders report a duration of 1-15 years.
Treatment for eating disorders is extremely expensive; it can cost $30,000 or more per month for inpatient treatment and $100,000 or more per year for outpatient treatment. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Fact sheet.
Most experts in the field believe that managed care fails to provide adequate funding for eating disorders. "Anorexics Sentenced To Death"; Glamour Magazine, (Aug, 1999.)