While no one knows for sure what causes eating disorders, a growing consensus suggests that it is a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.
Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of every age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic group. National surveys estimate that 20 million women and 10 million men in America will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Worldwide the figure is more like 70 million sufferers!
The problem with statistics on eating disorders is that many sufferers do not come forward for diagnosis due to embarrassment, denial or confusion as to what their symptoms are. Males are often one of the least diagnosed populations of people with eating disorders.
Eating Disorders Statistics and Facts
- Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
- Onset of anorexia nervosa is most commonly around the same time as puberty.
- Binge Eating Disorder was found to usually start during late adolescence or in the early twenties.
- Alcohol and substance abuse are four times more prevalent amongst people that suffer eating disorders.
- The most common eating disorder in the United States is binge eating disorder (BED).