Get The Facts On Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are some of the most well-known mental illnesses in American society, yet they are surprisingly poorly understood. Myths and misunderstandings abound when we discuss eating disorders, partially thanks to misrepresentations of these disorders in the media.
To help set the record straight and clear up the myths and legends about eating disorders, today I am sharing a list of 11 facts about these disorders and how they affect individuals from DoSomething.org:
- Eating disorders are categorized as mental illnesses where there is an unhealthy relationship with food. People with eating disorders often struggle with body image and disrupts their normal activities with unusual eating habits to alter their appearance.
- There are 3 main eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, 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.
- Eating disorders can be genetic or caused by psychological issues like coping skills, control issues, trauma, family trouble, or social issues. Each type of eating disorder has many possible causes.
- Approximately 24 million people in the U.S. struggle with an eating disorder. Almost 50% of these people also meet the criteria for depression.
- A mere 10% of people with eating disorders receive treatment, and of those only 35% seek treatment from a facility that specializes in eating disorders.
- In a college campus survey, 91% of the women admitted to controlling their weight through dieting. 22% said they dieted “often” or “always.”
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. For women ages 15 to 24, the mortality rate of anorexia is 12 times higher than any other cause of death.
- More than 50% of teen girls and nearly 33% of teen boys admit to using unhealthy methods to control their weight including smoking cigarettes, skipping meals, fasting, vomiting, or taking laxatives.
- An estimated 25%t of college-age girls resort to bingeing 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 with anorexia and bulimia, but are the least likely to seek help due to the gender stereotypes surrounding the disorders.
- 69% of girls ages 10 to 18 confirm that photographs of models and celebrities in magazines inspired their desired body shape.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please call (888) 298-4673. We can answer any questions you have and see if treatment is the right path for you or your loved one.