I was asked recently to review and summarize the latest prevalence data on eating disorders. I share my research with you. First the gender gap is closing. Boys and girls have equal susceptibility to anorexia and bulimia, but girls are more likely to develop binge-eating disorder. Binge-eating disorder is increasing in middle aged and older women. The median age for onset of an eating disorder has dropped to 12- to 13-years-old. Eating disorders have become an equal oppportunity problem. No longer do whites have an edge when it comes to eating disorders. Lifetime prevalence of anorexia and binge eating disorder is now similar for all major ethnicities (American African, Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic whites). Eating disorders are now an equal opportunity problem. No longer do whites have an edge when it comes to eating disorders. Lifetime prevalence of anorexia and binge eating disorder is now similar for all major ethnicities (American African, Asian, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic whites). Bulimia, however, has higher prevalence rates among Latinos and African Americans. Bisexual and gay men are at a higher risk than heterosexual men. Recent research indicates that 15% of gay or bisexual men have at some time suffered from an eating disorder compared to less than five percent of heterosexual men. No differences in have been found between lesbian/bisexual women and heterosexual women. Sadly, only a minority of those with an eating disorder appear to be receiving treatment. Eating disorder are difficult to recognize even by those who need help and asking for help is even more difficult.
Nutritionist Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto, co-authors of The Parent's Guide to Eating Disorders, Gūrze Books. Marcia is also author of Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders. Copyrighted by Marcia Herrin and Nancy Matsumoto