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Anorexia Statistics


  • It is estimated that 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men

  • One in 200 American women suffers from anorexia

  • 1 in 5 women struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating

  • Two to three in 100 American women suffers from bulimia

  • Nearly half of all Americans personally know someone with an eating disorder

  • An estimated 10 – 15% of people with anorexia or bulimia are males

  • It is estimated that currently 11% of high school students have been diagnosed with an eating disorder

  • 51% of 9 and 10 -year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are on a diet

  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner


  • Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness

  • A study by the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that 5 – 10% of anorexics die within 10 years after contracting the disease; 18-20% of anorexics will be dead after 20 years and only 30 – 40% ever fully recover

  • The mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL causes of death for females 15 – 24 years old.

  • 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including heart disease, stroke and cancer.


  • Only 1 in 10 people with eating disorders receive treatment

  • About 80% of the girls/women who have accessed care for their eating disorders do not get the intensity of treatment they need to stay in recovery – they often stop treatment weeks earlier than recommended

  • Treatment of an eating disorder in the US ranges from $500 per day to $2,000 per day. The average cost for a month of inpatient treatment is $30,000. It is estimated that individuals with eating disorders need anywhere from 3 – 6 months of inpatient care. Health insurance companies for several reasons do not typically cover the cost of treating eating disorders

  • The cost of outpatient treatment, including therapy and medical monitoring, can extend to $100,000 or more


  • Anorexia is the 3rd most common chronic illness among adolescents

  • 95% of those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 25

  • 50% of girls between the ages of 11 and 13 see themselves as overweight

  • 80% of 13-year-olds have attempted to lose weight

National Institute of Mental Health’s (NIMH)
Study conducted by Cornell University
Mellin LM, Irwin CE & Scully S: Disordered eating characteristics in girls
Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 92, 818-822
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Garner, D.W., Wooley, S.C.
American Anorexia and Bulimia Association
The Alliance for Eating Disorder Awareness

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