It is estimated that about 60,000 people may be receiving treatment for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa at any one time in the UK however there may be as many as 50% more people whose eating disorders have not been diagnosed, in particular those with bulimia nervosa.
It is not only young women who suffer from eating disorders, men and women of all ages are affected. 10% of all cases of eating disorders will be male.
The two main eating disorders are:
Anorexia Nervosa: A misconception of body image. Sufferers believe they are overweight when actually underweight. An uncontrolled lack of appetite for food. There are a range of health complications such as heart, kidney, gastrointestinal and fertility problems. Anorexia nervosa has one of the highest rates of mortality for any psychiatric condition.
Bulimia: An eating disorder, which is characterized by self-induced vomiting after eating.
Eating disorders are treatable. Approximately 80 percent of people with eating disorders who seek treatment either recover completely or make significant progress. Finding a counsellor or doctor that you trust, and with whom you can work effectively, is an important part of the recovery process.
For more information about these eating disorders please visit these links.
Compiled by Nycola Simpson 2008