Because of the secretiveness and shame associated with eating disorders, there is little accurate data on how much of the population suffers from eating disorders.
The annual mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa is more than 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females 15 to 24 years old in the general population.
- Eighty percent of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
- Forty-two percent of first through third grade girls want to be thinner.
- Eighty-one percent of ten-year-olds are afraid of becoming fat.
- Most fashion models are thinner than ninety-eight percent of American women. The average American women is 5’4″ and 140 pounds, and the average American model is 5’11” and 117 pounds.
- Fifty-one percent of nine and ten-year-old girls feel better about themselves if they are dieting.
- Forty-six percent of children between the ages of nine and eleven are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets.
- Thirty-five percent of “normal dieters” progress to pathological dieting. Of those, twenty to twenty-five percent progress to partial or full-syndrome eating disorders.
- Americans spend over $40 billion on dieting and diet-related products each year.
- Without treatments, up to twenty percent of people with serious eating disorders die.
But behind all of this was a young woman secretly struggling to fight a horrible illness.