Eating Disorder Statistics
Every year, Eating Disorders Awareness Week is a time for communities from all over the nation to come together to spread awareness about eating disorders and share inspirational stories of hope and recovery. We are proud to stand with our nonprofit partners and work together to shine a light on eating disorders, the importance of accessing treatment, and how recovery is possible.
At Eating Recovery Center, we are actively breaking the stigma around eating disorders. Our goal is to not only offer high-quality treatment programs for those in need, but to educate professionals so they are equipped to make the right decisions when referring their patients to a higher level of care.
Here's a breakdown of the research and statistics around eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, binge eating, bulimia nervosa and other conditions:
9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, will have an eating disorder in their lifetime. Source: Harvard School of Public Health
Less than 6% of people with eating disorders are medically diagnosed as “underweight.” Source: Flament, M., Henderson, K., Buchholz, A., Nguyen, H., Birmingham, M., & Goldfield, G. (2015). Weight status and DSM-5 diagnoses of eating disorders in adolescents from the community. JAMA Child & Adolescnt Psychiatry, 54(5), 403-411.
2.8 percent of American adults will struggle with binge eating disorder in their lifetime. Source: Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358.
13% of women over the age of 50 have eating disorder symptoms. Source: Gagne, D. A., Von Holle, A., Brownley, K. A., Runfola, C. D., Hofmeier, S., Branch, K. E., & Bulik, C. M. (2012). Eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns in a large web‐based convenience sample of women ages 50 and above: Results of the gender and body image (GABI) study. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 45(7), 832-844.
10 million men have eating disorders. Source: Hudson, J. I., Hiripi, E., Pope, H. G., & Kessler, R. C. (2007). The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the national comorbidity survey replication. Biological Psychiatry, 61(3), 348–358.
The rate of children under 12 being admitted to a hospital for eating disorders rose 119% in less than a decade. Source: Eating Disorders Coalition, Facts About Eating Disorders: What the Research Shows.
10,200 deaths each year are the direct result of an eating disorder – that's one death every 52 minutes. Source: Harvard School of Public Health
One in five anorexia deaths is by suicide. Source: Arcelus, J., Mitchell, A. J., Wales, J., & Nielsen, S. (2011). Mortality rates in patients with anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders: a meta-analysis of 36 studies. Archives of General Psychiatry, 68(7), 724-731.
50-80% of the risk for anorexia is genetic. Source: Trace, S. E., Baker, J. H., Peñas-Lledó, E., & Bulik, C. M. (2013). The genetics of eating disorders. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 9, 589-620.