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Anorexia Nervosa Statistics & Facts


Anorexia Nervosa Facts & Statistics

Eating disorders are a persistent and damaging part of life for many people worldwide. In fact, 9% of the global population will experience one at some point in their lifetime.1 Perhaps the most well-known of these is anorexia nervosa (AN), which affects people of all ages, races, gender identities, and financial statuses. People living with this eating disorder may experience a debilitating fear of weight gain, a distorted image of their own body, and caloric restriction.1 Banyan Treatment Center Philadelphia is breaking down important anorexia nervosa facts and statistics to keep in mind.

Interesting Facts About Anorexia Nervosa

Someone living with anorexia may experience various physical, mental, and behavioral symptoms. A severely distorted body image may cause a person to restrict the number of calories that they consume in a day, which can result in malnourishment.

Psychological symptoms can include or be related to:2

  • Food-related habits, like cutting meals into tiny pieces.
  • Using appetite suppressants or other “diet” pills.
  • Obsessions around food, eating, cooking, and calorie intake.
  • Consistent excuses to avoid eating.
  • Isolation from friends, families, and social situations.
  • Fear of being watched while eating.
  • An intense fear of weight gain.
  • An intense need for control.
  • Excessive exercise routines.

The physical warning signs associated with anorexia nervosa can range in severity depending on the personal experience of the individual living with it. Typically, they may appear to be malnourished and dehydrated and may exhibit signs of mental confusion, or lethargy.2

Additionally, many people will develop their eating disorder early in life, typically sometime throughout their teenage years. In fact, a whopping 95% of people living with disordered eating will develop symptoms between the ages of 12 and 25.3

Anorexia Facts and Statistics

Anyone can have anorexia. No matter their height, current weight, economic background, gender, or race, the perpetual need to control food intake can cause a serious rift in a person’s overall well-being. That being said, there are still intriguing numbers regarding the demographics of those who report living with symptoms. For instance, those who identify as women are three times more likely to have AN, which can have a devastating effect on a woman’s reproductive health and menstrual cycle.4

This is not to say that men don’t experience it, too. In fact, one of the lesser-known anorexia nervosa facts is that those who identify as men account for 20% of all AN diagnoses, with many avoiding necessary treatment because of stigma.5 Said stigmatization makes the prevalence of this disorder very underreported in the male population. This is something that our Philadelphia eating disorder clinic works to fight against, providing life-changing treatment programs that help each client reclaim their freedom from anorexia.

It is at our clinic that incredible strides are made, where both nutritional rehabilitation and mental health care meet to produce real results. The treatment professionals with our Banyan eating disorder programs understand how difficult living with anorexia nervosa can be and will be with you through every step of the healing process.

To learn more about the options we offer for Philadelphia eating disorder treatment, call Banyan today at 888-280-4763 and speak with one of our intake specialists.


  1. ANAD – Eating Disorder Statistics
  2. The Bulimia Project – Anorexia Symptoms
  3. John Hopkins – Eating Disorder Facts
  4. NIH – Eating Disorders
  5. NEDC – Eating Disorders in Males

Related Reading

The Different Anorexia Subtypes

What Is the Difference Between Anorexia and Bulimia?

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.