10 Facts about Eating Disorders
- Eating disorders exist in three major categories: Anorexia Nervosa, the fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, Bulimia Nervosa, the act of binge eating then purging or vomiting, and Binge Eating Disorder, eating until uncomfortably full in one sitting.
- Approximately 24 million individuals in the U.S. battle with an eating disorder. Almost 50% of these individuals at the same time meet the criteria for depression.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. For women ages fifteen to twenty four, the mortality rate of anorexia is 12 times greater than almost every other cause of death.
- Eating disorders can be fully treated successfully but unfortunately only one in ten people with eating disorders receive treatment.
- It’s estimated 25% of college-age girls resort to binge eating and purging to manage their weight. 58% of the studied girls felt social pressure to maintain a certain size.
- Men make up 10 to 15% of the population afflicted with eating disorders, but are the least likely to seek help due to the gender stereotypes surrounding the disorders.
- The causes of eating disorders can be genetic or caused by underlying psychological issues like coping skills, control issues, trauma, family trouble, or social issues. Each type of eating disorder has many possible causes.
- Eating disorders begin as early as age 12 with age 17 being the average age at which they develop.
- The binge and purge cycle of bulimia can lead to damage of the liver, kidney and bowels. Other issues that may airse include tooth erosion, possible ruptured esophagus and electrolyte imbalances that may lead to an irregular heartbeat, which could progress to cardiac arrest.
- An eating disorder will not go away without treatment. Eating disorders are mental illnesses that can be deadly if not treated and are difficult to recover from; however, many women have recovered successfully and gone on to live full and satisfying lives.
Eating disorders are serious. If you or a loved one need help dealing with an eating disorder, please schedule an appointment. If you live out of the Boise area, please use this website to find help in your area.