Prevalence of Eating Disorders
It is generally agreed that the incidence of eating disorders has increased over the last 30-40 years. Approximately 0.5 percent to 1.0 percent of late adolescent or adult women meet criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa. Approximately 1.0 percent to 2.0 percent of late adolescent and adult women meet criteria for the diagnosis of bulimia nervosa.
However, at any given time, 10 percent or more of late adolescent and adult women report symptoms of eating disorders. Although these symptoms may not satisfy full diagnostic criteria, they do often cause distress and impairment. Interventions with these individuals may be helpful and may prevent the development of more serious disorders.