What are prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa in the US?

Updated: Jun 10, 2019
  • Author: Bettina E Bernstein, DO; Chief Editor: Caroly Pataki, MD  more...
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The lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa in the United States is estimated to be 0.3-1%; however, some studies have shown rates as high as 4% among women. The rates among men are estimated at 0.1-0.3%. As many as 5% of young women exhibit symptoms of anorexia but do not meet the full diagnostic criteria, and some studies show disordered eating behavior in 13% of adolescent girls in the United States. [13, 14, 15, 41]

Using nationally representative, face-to-face interview surveys of 10,123 adolescents in the continental United States, Swanson et al found the following 12-month prevalence rates for eating disorders [16] :

  • Anorexia nervosa (0.2%)

  • Bulimia nervosa (0.6%)

  • Binge-eating disorder (1.6%)

  • Subthreshold anorexia nervosa (0.9%)

  • Subthreshold binge-eating disorder (1.1%)

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