Show Related Links +
Home » Eating Disorder Education & Awareness » Eating Disorder Statistics & Research

Eating Disorder Statistics & Research

Eating disorders studies, statistics 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. We’ve put together some of the key statistics on eating disorders here for our readers.

Anorexia Nervosa Statistics

Anorexia Prevalence

  • It is estimated that 1.0% to 4.2% of women have suffered from anorexia in their lifetime.[1]

Anorexia Mortality Rates

  • Anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness.[2]
  • It is estimated that 4% of anorexic individuals die from complications of the disease[3]

Access to Anorexia Treatment

  • Only one third of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa in the United States obtain treatment.[4]

Relaxing Young Woman Reading Book

Bulimia Nervosa Statistics

Bulimia Prevalence

  • It is estimated that up to 4% of females in the United States will have bulimia during their lifetime[5].

Bulimia Mortality Rates

  • 3.9% of these bulimic individuals will die.[ 6]

Access to Bulimia Treatment

  • Of those practicing bulimia, only 6% obtain treatment[7].

Binge Eating Disorder Statistics

Binge Eating Prevalence

  • Advertisement
  • Newsletter Sign-Up

    Sign up for our newsletter and start receiving updates now.
    • 2.8 % of American adults will struggle with BED during their lifetime. Close to 43% of individuals suffering from Binge Eating Disorder will obtain treatment[8].

    Binge Eating Disorder Mortality Rates

    • 5.2% of individuals suffering from eating disorders not otherwise specified,[9] the former diagnosis that BED, among other forms of disordered eating) was included in under the DSM-IV) die from health complications.

    Access to Binge Eating Treatment

    General Statistics on Eating Disorders

    • Eating disorders are a daily struggle for 10 million females and 1 million males in the United States.[11]
    • Four out of ten  individuals have either personally experienced an eating disorder or know someone who has.[12]

    Over a lifetime, the following percentages of women and men will experience an eating disorder:

    Female Eating Disorder Prevalence Rates

    • .9% of women will struggle with anorexia in their lifetime
    • 1.5% of women will struggle with bulimia in their lifetime
    • 3.5% of women will struggle with binge eating

    Successful Man against Sunset

    Male Eating Disorder Statistics

    • .3% of men will struggle with anorexia
    • .5% of men will struggle with bulimia
    • 2% of men will struggle with binge eating disorder [13]

    Prevalence Rates of Eating Disorders in Adolescents

    Classmates Walking

    Student Eating Disorder Statistics

    • 50% of teenage girls and 30% of teenage boys use unhealthy weight control behaviors such as skipping meals, fasting, smoking cigarettes, vomiting, and taking laxatives to control their weight.[15]
    • 25% of college-aged women engage in bingeing and purging as a method of managing their weight.[16]

    Prevalence of eating disorders among athletes

    • 13.5% of athletes have subclinical to clinical eating disorders[22]
    • 42% of female athletes competing in aesthetic sports demonstrated eating disordered behaviors[16]

    Dieting Statistics and Prevalence

    • Over 50% of teenage girls and 33% of teenage boys are using restrictive measures to lose weight at any given time.[17]
    • 46% of 9-11 year-olds are sometimes, or very often, on diets, and 82% of their families are sometimes, or very often, on diets).[18]
    • 91% of women recently surveyed on a college campus had attempted to control their weight through dieting, 22% dieted often or always.[19]
    • 95% of all dieters will regain their lost weight in 1-5 years.[20]
    • 35% of normal dieters progress to pathological dieting. Of those, 20-25% progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
    • 25% of American men and 45% of American women are on a diet on any given day.[21]

    If you need treatment, find an eating disorder center and talk to a professional.

     References

    1. The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources, 2003.
    2. Sullivan, P. (1995). American Journal of Psychiatry, 152 (7), 10731074.
    3. Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., Mitchell, J.E. (2009) Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 166, 1342-1346.
    4. Hoek and van Hoeken,2003. Review of the prevalence and incidence of eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 386-396.
    5. The National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions. Pub No. 01-4901. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/nedspdisorder.cfm.)
    6. Crow, S.J., Peterson, C.B., Swanson, S.A., Raymond, N.C., Specker, S., Eckert, E.D., Mitchell, J.E. (2009) Increased mortality in bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry 166, 1342-1346.
    7. The National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions. Pub No. 01-4901. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/nedspdisorder.cfm.)
    8. Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biological Psychiatry. 2007; 61:348-58.
    9. Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. website. Accessed Feb. 2012. http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
    10. The National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions. Pub No. 01-4901. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/nedspdisorder.cfm.)
    11. Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995
    12. Global Market Insite Study @ NEDA, 2005
    13. The National Institute of Mental Health: Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions. Pub No. 01-4901. Accessed Feb. 2002. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/publicat/nedspdisorder.cfm.)
    14. Merikangas KR, He J, Burstein M, Swanson SA, Avenevoli S, Cui L, Benjet C, Georgiades K, Swendsen J. Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in U.S. adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Oct;49(10):980-989.
    15. Neumark Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat! New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 5.
    16. The Renfrew Center Foundation for Eating Disorders, Eating Disorders 101 Guide: A Summary of Issues, Statistics and Resources, 2003.
    17. Neumark Sztainer, D. (2005). I’m, Like, SO Fat! New York: The Guilford Press. pp. 5.
    18. Gustafson-Larson, A.M., & Terry, R.D. (1992). Weight-related behaviors and concerns of fourth-grade children. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 818-822.
    19. National Eating Disorders Association website.  Statistics: Eating Disorders and Their Precursors. Accessed feb.2012  http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/uploads/statistics_tmp.pdf
    20. Grodstein, F., Levine, R., Spencer, T., Colditz, G.A., Stampfer, M. J. (1996). Three year follow up of participants in a commercial weight loss program: can you keep it off? Archives of Internal Medicine. 156 (12),1302.
    21. Shisslak, C.M., Crago, M., & Estes, L.S. (1995). The spectrum of eating disturbances. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 18 (3), 209219.
    22. Sundgot-Borgen J, Torstveit MK. (2004). Prevalence of eating disorders in elite athletes is higher than in the general population. Clin J Sport Med., Jan;14(1):25-32.
     
     
    Share our content:Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestShare on RedditEmail this to someone

  • Eating Disorder Hope proudly complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.

  • If you or a loved one are suffering with substance abuse, explore our sister website, Addiction Hope. Like EDH, it provides information, treatment resources, and recovery guides for drug abuse.

  • Eating Disorder News

    Eating Disorder Hope blog voted one of top 16 eating disorder blogs online by Healthline

    The Best Eating Disorder Health Blogs of 2014

    Check Out Our Twitter Chat!

    The Best Eating Disorder Health Blogs of 2014

    Eating Disorder Hope and Timberline Knolls present a Twitter Chat with former Miss America Kristen Haglund! Click the hastag for more info.

  • Recent Updates

    Featured Articles

    Dealing with the Weirdness: Suggestions for Family and Friends in Talking to Loved Ones with Eating Disorders Read this article...

    Goal Setting for Eating Disorders Read this article...

    The Complexity of Spirituality in Eating Disorders Read this article...

  • Search Eating Disorder Hope