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Eating Disorders Statistics (UK)

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At least 1.1 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder, with young people in the age-group 14-25 being most at risk of developing this type of illness.

Here are some eating disorders statistics from various UK organisations, which were all obtained from their corresponding websites:

As many as one woman in 20 will have eating habits which give cause for concern; most will be aged 14 to 25 years old.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists:
Girls and women are 10 times more likely than boys and men to suffer from anorexia or bulimia.

The Independent on Sunday:
An investigation into the problem of eating disorders revealed that at least 1 percent of women are affected by eating disorders.

In a survey of 600 young people with eating disorders, beat found:

Only 1 percent of children felt they could talk to their parents about their eating-related concerns.

9 percent of children felt they might be able to talk to someone at school.

17 percent of children felt they might be able to talk to a doctor or nurse.

92 percent of children felt they couldn’t tell anyone.

beat currently believes the number of people receiving treatment for anorexia or bulimia to be near to 90,000, while many more people have eating disorders undiagnosed, in particular those with bulimia nervosa.

A person with an eating disorder can recover within five years providing they receive appropriate treatment, but in some cases, the illness will persist throughout life.

Liberal Democrats:
In 2006, NHS hospitals treated 58 children under 10 for eating disorders. This included 35 boys.

In the same year more girls aged below 18 years were treated in NHS hospitals for eating disorders than at any other time over the past decade.

UK Parliament – Publications:
The following table shows the number of diagnosed and admitted cases of eating disorders in NHS hospitals, England, from 1996-97 onwards. Please note these figures represent individual cases and not the actual number of patients (some patients will have had more than one admission).


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