Eating disorders are complex and serious illnesses with the highest death rate of any mental illness 1.
Although Anorexia and Bulimia are most well known, other eating disorders like Binge Eating Disorder, and Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (which include anorexia without the low weight, subclinical bulimia, and purging disorder) are more common and can be just as devastating. 2
Almost 1 in 10 people will experience an eating disorder during their lifetime. Among girls under 20, 1 in 6 will develop an eating disorder. 3 Although eating disorders most commonly begin in adolescence, anyone can be affected, regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status, or ethnic background.
It is now recognized that between 50% and 80% of a person's risk for an eating disorder is a result of genetic and biological factors. 4 Regardless of contributing factors, in almost all cases of eating disorders, dieting or caloric restriction is often the trigger. In fact, restrictive dieting increases the risk of developing an eating disorder 18 times. 5
With support and treatment, full recovery is possible. 6