Eating Disorder Statistics & Prevalence

Check out these shocking statistics about eating disorders.

  • 9% of all people across all global populations have at least some of an eating disorder.
9% of all people across all global populations have at least some of an eating disorder.
  • 28.8 million Americans have at least some form of an eating disorder.
  • 6% of all people with a form of an eating disorder will be diagnosed as underweight in the United States.
  • Officials who study this subject estimate that between 28% and 74% of people who are at risk for some form of an eating disorder have the disorder because it is a family train that has been passed down genetically.
  • 10,200 people will die every single year as a result of some form of eating disorder.
  • American people of color are three times less likely to have an eating disorder than their white peers.
  • Most people who have a had a diagnosis of any form of eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder have also received at least some form of treatment for emotional problems at some time in time.
  • Black Americans who have an eating disorder are 50% less likely to get treatment for it than people of other races.
  • 26% of people who have any form of an eating disorders will try to commit suicide at some point in time.
  • Americans pay $64.7 billion annually for the cost of all eating disorders.
  • 20% to 30% of all American adults who have at least one eating disorders have also been diagnosed by medical professionals with mild to severe autism spectrum disorder.

What is an Eating Disorder?

95% of experts in the field of eating disorders consider an eating disorder to be an illness.
  • Most experts in the field of eating disorders define an eating disorder as an illness that has an affect on a person’s overall relationship with food and how they perceive their body.
  • Binge eating disorder is 3 times as common as other kinds of eating disorders.
  • Binge eating disorder is more common than many other kinds of physical and mental health conditions. It is more common than breast cancer. It is also more common in populations across the world than HIV, and schizophrenia.

Types of Eating Disorders

  • There are 3 types of eating disorders: binge eating, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
  • Binge eating affects 1.2% of the American population. A binge disorder is an issue where the person has recurrent binge eating episodes over a certain timeframe. During this time, the person who has a binge eating disorder feels they are loosing control over how they are eating.
  • 0.3% of the American population suffers from anorexia nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by the feeling that someone is overweight when they are not. People who suffer from this condition eat less than the required calories each day in order to get thin or become thinner.
  • 0.6% of the American population suffers from bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by people certain behaviors. People who have this condition typically have binge eating episodes like binge eaters. After the binge eating, they look for ways to get rid of the calories such as vomiting or excessive exercise.

Eating Disorder Statistics by Type

  • 62.6% of all people with any form of binge eating disorder were considered to have at least some form of impairment that make it harder for them to function at work or home.
62.6% of all people with any form of binge eating disorder were considered to have at least some form of impairment that make it harder for them to function at work or home.
  • 18.5% all people with any form of binge eating had what is considered to be a severe impairment that interfered with their ability to function at work or at home.
  • 78.0% of all people with any form of bulimia nervosa were considered to have at least some form of impairment that make it harder for them to function at work or home.
  • 43.9% of all people with any form of bulimia nervosa were considered to have a severe impairment that interfered with their ability to function at work or home.
  • 65.5% of all people with anorexia nervosa were considered to have at least some form of impairment that make it harder for them to function at work or home.
  • 25.3% pf all people with anorexia nervosa were considered to have a severe impairment that interfered with their ability to function at work or home.

Eating Disorder Statistics by Location

  • Global eating disorder prevalence has increased overall from 3.4% to 7.8% between the years of 2000 and 2018.
  • Americans are considered to be the people with the most number of eating disorders in the world.
  • The country with the second highest number of eating disorders is the United Kingdom.
  • Canadians have the third largest number of eating disorders in the world followed by residents of Australia.
  • Austrians have the highest rate of eating disorders in Europe.
  • Japanese people have the highest rate of eating disorders in Asia.
  • People who live in Hong Kong have the second highest rate3 of eating disorders in Asia.
  • People who live in Singapore have third highest rate of eating disorders in Asia.
  • People who live in Taiwan have the fourth highest rate of eating disorders in Asia.
  • People who live in South Korea have the fifth highest rate of eating disorders in Asia.
  • Residents of western countries are 5 times as likely to have an eating disorder as residents of people in other parts of the world.
Residents of western countries are 5 times as likely to have an eating disorder as residents of people in other parts of the world.
  • Residents of Chile are the most likely to have an eating disorder followed by residents of Colombia and Brazil.

Eating Disorder Statistics by Age

  • 2.7% of adolescents have at least one eating disorder.
  • The number of Americans with any kind of eating disorder rose from .43% of the American population in 1990 to .46% of the American population in 2019.
  • 13% of women who are older than 50 are estimated to have at least one eating disorder across the global population.
  • The median age of people who were diagnosed with a binge eating disorder was 21 in the United States.
  • The median age of people who were diagnosed with anorexia was 18 in the United States.
  • The median age of people who were diagnosed with bulimia nervosa was 18 in the United States.
  • The highest percent of eating disorders in the United States is seen in adolescents from 17 to 18.
  • 43.6% of people with some form of an eating disorders in the United States will get some form of treatment.
  • 1 person dies in the United States every single hour as a result of an eating disorder.
1 person dies in the United States every single hour as a result of an eating disorder.
  • Eating disorders are known to the have the highest mortality rates of all known mental health issues.
  • The most deadly eating disorder is anorexia nervosa.
  • People with anorexia nervosa are 56% more likely to attempt to kill themselves than people with other kinds of mental illnesses.
  • People with eating disorders are 5 times as likely to abuse alcohol or illicit drugs than the general population.
  • 97% of all people who are hospitalized at some point in time for an eating disorder also have another kind of mental health issue.
  • The most common form of mental health issue for people who are hospitalized at some point in time for an eating disorder are anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • The second most common form of mental health issue for people who are hospitalized at some point in time for an eating disorder are substance abuse disorders.
  • Eating disorders constitute the 3rd most common form of mental health issue among adolescent girls.
  • 0.3% of all Americans aged 10 to 19 have anorexia nervosa.
  • 0.8% of all Americans aged 20 to 39 have anorexia nervosa.
  • 0.5% of all Americans aged 40 to 59 have anorexia nervosa.
  • 0.3% of all Americans over the age of 60 have anorexia nervosa.
  • 0.9% of all Americans aged 10 to 19 have bulimia nervosa.
  • 1.5% of all Americans aged 20 to 39 have bulimia nervosa.
  • 0.9% of all Americans aged 40 to 59 have bulimia nervosa.
  • 0.5% of all Americans over the age of 60 have bulimia nervosa.
  • 1.6% of all Americans aged 10 to 19 have some form of binge eating disorder.
  • 3.5% of all Americans aged 20 to 39 have some form of binge eating disorder.
  • 2.3% of all Americans aged 40 to 59 have some form of binge eating disorder.
  • 1.5% of all Americans over the age of 60 have some form of binge eating disorder.

Eating Disorder Statistics by Gender

  • 0.3% of American men have anorexia nervosa.
  • 0.5% of American men have bulimia nervosa.
  • 2.0% of American men have a binge eating disorder.
  • 0.9% of American women have anorexia nervosa.
  • 1.5% of American women have bulimia nervosa.
  • 3.5% of American women have a being eating disorder.
  • Transgender people are 3 times more likely to have an form of an eating disorder than women.
  • People who are between the ages of 15 and 24 who have any form of anorexia are 10 times more likely to die than the rest of their peers.
  • 25% of people with anorexia nervosa are men. Men are more likely to die as a result of the disease than women. They are also less likely to seek out treatment for the condition than women across all age groups.
  • 1 in 3 women who are competing as Division 1 NCAA athletes state they have had symptoms and behavior indicative of an eating disorder at some point time.
  • Females who have bulimia nervosa and some form of binge eating disorder were more likely to seek treatment for the disorder more than males.
Females who have bulimia nervosa and some form of binge eating disorder were more likely to seek treatment for the disorder more than males.
  • Males who have anorexia nervosa were more likely to seek treatment for this disorder than females with the same condition.

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