advertisement
08 March 2011

500,000 teens have eating disorder

More than half a million US teens have had an eating disorder but few have sought treatment for the problem, government research has shown.

0

More than half a million US teens have had an eating disorder but few have sought treatment for the problem, government research has shown.

The study is billed as the largest and most comprehensive analysis of eating disorders. It involved nationally representative data on more than 10,000 teens aged 13 to 18.

Binge-eating disorder was the most common, affecting more than 1.5% of kids studied. Just under 1% had experienced bulimia, and 0.3% had had anorexia. Overall, 3% had a lifetime prevalence of one of the disorders. Another 3% of kids questioned had troubling symptoms but not full-fledged eating disorders.

The study was released online in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The rates are slightly higher than in other studies. And the study is based on kids and parents interviewed over two years ending in 2004. But co-author and researcher Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institute of Mental Health says similar rates likely exist today.

More than half the affected teens had depression, anxiety or some other mental disorder. Sizeable numbers also reported suicide thoughts or attempts.

Merikangas said the results underscore the seriousness of eating disorders.

(Sapa, Lindsey Tanner, March 2011)

Read more:

Anorexia nervosa

Obesity

 
NEXT ON HEALTH24X
advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Watch out! »

Gross fungal infections you can pick up at the gym

You go to gym to exercise. But make sure the only thing you pick up is a dumbbell and not one of these gross fungal infections.

Holiday health »

Your 10-step asthma holiday checklist

Don’t let asthma ruin your summer holiday. Whether you are travelling or embracing the summer at home, make sure you plan ahead.