1 in 20 Australians are living with an eating disorder


Did you know around one-in-20 Australians, and an estimated four-to-seven per cent of our adult population, are living with an eating disorder?

Or that the prevalence of eating disorders is on the rise, with a two-fold increase in disordered eating behaviours observed in Australian communities over the past decade?

There are four main types of eating disorders – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED).

Our researchers at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, are representing the Australian arm of Eating Disorders Genetics Initiative (EDGI) – the world’s largest genetics investigation of eating disorders ever performed.  The Australian arm of EDGI aims to identify the hundreds of genes that influence a person’s risk of developing the complex, devastating illnesses of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, to improve treatment, and ultimately, save lives.

Aside from genetics, developmental challenges (including puberty), thinking styles (such as perfectionism), body dissatisfaction, and socio-cultural pressures can all contribute to the onset of eating disorders.

Here are some stats and facts about eating disorders in Australia:

  • Approximately 85,000 Australian adults are currently living with anorexia nervosa.
  • An estimated 120,000 Australian adults are currently living with bulimia nervosa.
  • As the most common eating disorder, nearly three (2.8) per cent of Australian adults are expected to develop binge-eating disorder during their lifetime.
  • The total socio-economic cost of eating disorders is estimated to be approximately $70 billion in Australia.

If you have experienced anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa or binge eating disorder, please click here to volunteer for EDGI AUS today.

To learn more about EDGI AUS, explore our new website, or email us at edgi@qimrberghofer.edu.au.


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