Diabulimia Facts & Statistics

It’s important to note that people with diabulimia may exhibit any number of eating disorder behaviors — or they may only manipulate their insulin and otherwise have normal eating patterns.

Below are facts and statistics about the incidence and prevalence of diabulimia amongst patients with type 1 diabetes.

  • Having type 1 diabetes puts an individual at increased risk for developing an eating disorder or disordered eating. 1
  • As many as 35 percent of young adult women with type 1 diabetes met the criteria for a “sub-threshold” eating disorder (display symptoms of an eating disorder but do not meet the full diagnostic criteria). 2
  • As many as 11 percent of young adult women with type 1 diabetes met the criteria for a full-syndrome eating disorder. 2
    • Troubling figures when compared to the incidence of eating disorders among women in general, in which an estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa and an estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime. 3
  • 16% of males with type 1 diabetes have disordered eating behaviors.4
  • The risk of death for ED-DMT1 was 17-fold compared to type 1 diabetes alone and seven-fold compared to anorexia nervosa 5

ERC offers specialized treatment for diabulimia

The facts and statistics about diabulimia are clear: misuse of insulin to manage weight is serious and life-threatening.

If you need help, or if you are concerned about someone you love, please call one of our treatment team members immediately at 877-825-8584.




  1. Hanlan, M. E., Griffith, J., Patel, N., & Jaser, S. S. (2013). Eating disorders and disordered eating in Type 1 diabetes: prevalence, screening, and treatment options. Current Diabetes Reports, 13(6), 909-916.
  1. Mortality in concurrent type 1 diabetes and anorexia nervosa. Nielsen S, Emborg C, Mølbak AG.

Diabetes Care. 2002 Feb; 25(2):309-12.

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