Eating Disorders Current Trends

June 30, 2005 at 6:40 pm  •  Posted in Eating Disorders by  •  0 Comments

Emerging Trends
Medical Complications from Anorexia Nervosa
Medical Complications from Bulimia
Laxative Abuse
Treatment and Recovery



Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness—20 percent of affected individuals without treatment. The mortality rate drops to 2 to 3 percent with treatment. One percent of females between the ages of 10 and 20 have anorexia nervosa and 2 to 3 percent have bulimia. Males account for only 1 percent of those with eating disorders.

Emerging Trends
  • Incidence of eating disorders has doubled since the 1960s
  • Increasing numbers of children as young as age six suffer from the illness
  • 10 percent report onset of illness at age 10 or younger
  • Incidences of eating disorders are increasing among diverse ethnic groups
  • 42 percent of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner
  • 9 percent of nine-year-olds have vomited to lose weight
  • 13 percent of high school girls purge
Medical Complications from Anorexia Nervosa
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Heart muscle shrinkage and irregular heart beats
  • In adolescence, growth retardation and peak bone mass reduction
  • Frequently co-occurs with depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders
  • Common causes of death are cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, or suicide
Medical Complications from Bulimia
  • Dehydration
  • Heart and gastrointestinal problems
  • Teeth erosion
  • Electrolyte disturbances, irregular heart beats, and heart failure
  • Laxative dependence
Laxative Abuse
  • Use among bulimics is 40 to 75 percent
  • 15 percent abuse laxatives several times each day
  • Abuse among high school students range from 3.5 to 7 percent
  • Abuse can cause failure to absorb nutrients, electrolyte imbalances, loss of colon function, and development of renal stones
Treatment and Recovery
  • With treatment, 60 percent of people with eating disorders recover
  • 20 percent make only partial recoveries and often relapse
  • Remaining 20 percent do not recover and suffer chronic deterioration
  • Treatment should include nutritional, medical, and psychiatric services, and psychotherapy with the patient and family
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy has shown to be effective in reducing symptoms and increasing self-esteem
  • Early detection and treatment result in improved outcomes
  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  • Eating Disorders Coalition for Research, Policy & Action (EDC)
  • Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. (ANRED)
  • National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD)


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