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Eating disorder organizations qualify that eating disorder statistics are estimates because the illnesses are often hidden and difficult to diagnose. It is likely that the actual figures are higher than they appear due to the secretive nature of eating disorders.

   About 8 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder. Among young women, it is estimated that 15 percent suffer from some kind of disordered eating behavior.
   Females make up 90 to 95 percent of the people who suffer from anorexia.
   1 percent of young women between the ages of ten and twenty have anorexia.
   85 percent of the time anorexia starts between the ages of thirteen and twenty.
   10 to 15 percent of anorectics will die from the disease.
   2 to 5 percent of anorectics will commit suicide.
   About 1,000 women die from anorexia each year.
   30 to 50 percent of anorectics in treatment show signs of bulimia as well.
   4 percent of college-aged women have bulimia.
   10 to 15 percent of people with bulimia are male.
   Of psychological disorders, eating disorders have the highest rate of deaths.
   About 60 percent of eating disorder sufferers recover with treatment.

These statistics are based on information from the following organizations: Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc.; American Anorexia/Bulimia Association, Inc.; and National Depressive and Manic-Depressive Association.

Source Citation: "EATING DISORDERS STATISTICS." Caroline M. Levchuck, Jane Kelly Kosek, and Michele Drohan. Healthy Living. Allison McNeill, Editor. Farmington Hills, Mich.: UXL, 2000.