Overview of Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a disturbance in eating behavior. Anorexia nervosa (anorexia) and bulimia nervosa (bulimia) are the eating disorders that are studied most often, and researchers estimate millions of people in the United States are affected each year by eating disorders.

A condition known as binge-eating disorder is considered the most common eating disorder. In the United States, it's estimated that between one and four out of every 100 people are affected by binge-eating disorder.

Eating disorders affect women and men—in fact, approximately 1 million men in the United States suffer from anorexia or bulimia, and millions more have binge-eating disorder. The conditions can affect anyone—from children to older adults—and they may have life-threatening consequences. Eating disorders are more prevalent in industrialized countries and according to the American Psychiatric Association, they are most common in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at Healthcommunities.com

Published: 02 Jan 2001

Last Modified: 27 Feb 2013