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It is important to realize that eating disorders are incredibly complex illnesses. There are numerous myths out there, and the staggering statistics are not well known. Large gains have been made in the field, but there is still much to understand.
While we do know that some factors such as genetics, dieting, and body dissatisfaction can contribute to the development of eating disorders, there is no known cause. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for an eating disorder to go unnoticed for a long period of time, or be misdiagnosed by a medical professional. Many treatment modalities have been found to be successful, and we know recovery is possible, but eating disorders continue to claim lives every year.
While commonly affecting young women, eating disorders can impact people of all ages, races and sexes. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an “other specified feeding or eating disorder” (OSFED).
The Eating Disorder Foundation is here to break the silence, educate the public, and be a resource for recovery. If you are looking to improve your understanding of eating disorders, scroll through the links on the left and let us know if you still have any unanswered questions.