Tens of millions of women and men suffer from eating disorders in the U.S. Below are statistics about the three major types of eating disorders: anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.
Some 30 million people in the U.S. suffer from an eating disorder (ED).
The median age of onset of an eating disorder is age 12.
About 95% of ED victims are between the ages of 12 and 25.
Between 10% and 15% of people who have an ED are male. The number is higher for gay men. More than 20% of gay men are anorexic and 14% are bulimic.
Some 11% of high-school students have an eating disorder.
Between .5% and 3.7% of women will experience anorexia at some point in their lifetime.
Between 1.1% and 4.2% of women will experience bulimia at some point in their lifetime.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. An anorexic female age 15-24 is 12% more likely to die from the disease than from any other cause of death.
Between 5% and 10% of anorexics die within 10 years of onset, and between 18% and 20% die within 20 years. Half of all anorexics say they never fully recover from the disease.
The mortality rate for anorexia is 4.0%, 3.9% for bulimia, and 5.2% for eating disorder not otherwise specified.
About 20% of anorexia sufferers will die prematurely from complications related to the disorder.
More than half (53%) of those suffering from bulimia consider suicide, and more than one-third (35.1%) actually try to kill themselves.
About half of anorexics develop bulimia or bulimic tendencies.
Anorexia is the third most common chronic disease for adolescents.
Only 10% of people with eating disorders seek treatment. About 35% of those who seek treatment do so in a program specifically for eating disorders.
About 80% of ED sufferers who seek treatment recover fully. The other 20% continue to struggle or die from the disease.
In 2011, the National Institutes of Health spent $28 million on research into eating disorders. The NIH spent $450 million on Alzheimerâs disease and $276 million on schizophrenia. There 30 million people in the U.S. with an ED, 5.1 million with Alzheimer's and 3.4 million with schizophrenia.
About 25% of college-aged women binge and purge to control their weight.
Sources: The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders: www.anad.org; JAMA Psychiatry: http://archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/journal.aspx; National Institutes of Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov.