The Prevalence Of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, And Binge Eating Disorder

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The Prevalence Of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, And Binge Eating Disorder


How prevalent is anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and other eating disorders? Without the knowledge of research, one is likely to think eating disorders are quite prevalent in society today. However, research proves that eating disorders, in general, are not as prevalent as one might think without any knowledge of the subject. Prevalence of an eating disorder refers to the number of cases of an eating disorder within a population. When discussing the prevalence of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorders, it is important to realize and understand the risk factors and characteristics that help to better explain the prevalence of such
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(Fairbum and Wilson, 1993, 9). There are several types of anorexia nervosa (restricting type and binge eating/purging type), but these distinct classifications are not relevant to this discussion.

After discussing the criteria used to establish the presence of an anorexia nervosa disorder, the discussion of prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa is necessary. Eagles et al (1995) conducted a study of the prevalence rates of anorexia nervosa by comparing referral rates of patients. They acknowledge that a number of studies on this subject have been conducted and that the outcomes have been conflicting. Eagles et al (1995) recognize that these conflicting results can be explained by the changes in admissions practices, changes in the frequency of referrals and an increase in public awareness (Eagles et al, 1995, 1266). Studying the incidence of referral rates is necessary in order to determine the prevalence of anorexia nervosa because referral rates are a direct measurement of the number of cases within a given population. The study by Eagles et al (1995) found that referral rates of anorexia nervosa have risen in the past two decades and these rates have a direct influence on prevalence rates. Therefore, the researchers conclude from the increase in the incidence of referral rates and increased public awareness that the prevalence of anorexia nervosa has also risen, but they do not give a prevalence rate. Therefore, the increase in referral rates and increased…