Nutrition Information Services
Logo: Western University Canada
Logo: Hospitality at Western University

Eating Disorders

Introduction and Statistics

If you are a frustrated dieter looking for ways off the diet roller coaster, or a teen concerned about personal issues of weight and dieting, please refer to the list of local eating disorders resources and websites.

Remember... "You can't put a face on an eating disorder, but you can face them."

Statistics on Eating Disorders

In a recent study, 27% of Ontario girls 12-18 years old were reported to be engaged in severely problematic food and weight behaviour.Jones, Jennifer, M.; Bennett, Susan, Olmsted, Marion P., Lawson, Margaret L., and Rodin, Gary. Disordered eating attitudes and behaviours in teenaged girls: a school-based study. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2001;165(5) 547-52.

The death rate for eating disorders is high: it ranges between 18% (in 20-year studies) and 20% (in 30-year follow-up studies). In fact, the annual death rate associated with anorexia is more than 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all other causes combined for females between 15 and 24 years old.Cavanaugh, Carolyn. What we know about eating disorders: facts and statistics. In Lemberg, Raymond and Cohn, Leigh (Eds) (1999). Eating Disorders: A reference sourcebook. Oryx Press. Phoenix, AZ.

The American Psychiatric Association Work Group on Eating Disorders estimates that some 8% of women suffer from either anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.American Psychiatric Association Work Group on Eating Disorders. (2000). Practice guideline for the treatment of patients with eating disorders (revision). American Journal of Psychiatry; 157 (1 Suppl): 1-39.

Eating disorders are now the third most common chronic illness in adolescent girls.Adolescent Medicine Committee, Canadian Paediatric Society. Eating Disorders in adolescents: principles of diagnosis and treatment. Paediatrics and Child Health 1998; 3(3) 189-92. Reaffirmed January 2001.

The death rate associated with anorexia nervosa alone is more than 12 times higher than the overall death rate among young women in the general population.Sullivan PF. Mortality in anorexia nervosa. American Journal of Psychiatry, 1995; 152(7): 1073-4.

While the most common age of onset is between 14 and 25 years of age, eating disorders occur in a wide range of ages, and are increasingly seen in children as young as 10.Cavanaugh, Carolyn J. and Lemberg, Ray. What we know about eating disorders: facts and statistics. In Lemberg, Raymond and Cohn, Leigh (Eds) (1999). Eating Disorders: A reference sourcebook. Oryx. Press. Phoenix, AZ.

It is estimated that 3% of women will be affected by eating disorders in their lifetime.Zhu AJ, Walsh BT. Pharmacologic treatment of eating disorders. Can J Psychiatry 2002; 47:3227-34.

Among female athletes, the prevalence of eating disorders is reported to be between 15% and 62%.Costin, Carolyn. (1999) The Eating Disorder Source Book: A comprehensive guide to the causes, treatment, and prevention of eating disorders. 2nd edition. Lowell House: Los Angeles.

Local Eating Disorders Resources & Websites

  • Eating Disorders Assoc. of London
    (519) 685-8343
  • Hope's Garden
    (519) 434-7721
    379 Dundas St., Suite 210
  • London, Ontario
    Student Health Services, Western
    (519) 661-3771
  • Student Development Centre, Western
    (519) 661-3031
  • Anne Zok, Nutrition Manager, Western
    (519) 661-3855
  • National Eating Disorders Information Centre
  • Eating Disorders Referral & Information Centre
  • Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating isorders Inc.
  • Support, Concern & Resources for Eating Disorders

Milk and milk products are a key source of calcium and other bone building nutrients such as vitamin D, magnesium, phosphorus and protein. Fluid milk is fortified with vitamin D. A healthy eating plan, which includes calcium and vitamin D along with daily activity will help prevent osteoporosis. Aim for 2-4 servings of milk and milk products each day.

Related Links
Stay Connected
News & Events
News & Events at Hospitality Services
Online Contact Us Form