How many people in the UK have an eating disorder?
There is a lack of data detailing how many people in the UK suffer from an eating disorder. Although the Department of Health provides hospital episode statistics, these only include those affected by eating disorders who are in inpatient NHS treatment. These figures therefore leave out all those who have not come forward, have not been diagnosed, are receiving private treatment, or are being treated as an outpatient or in the community. We continue to request that the Department of Health conducts reliable studies to provide us with these vital statistics.
The most accurate figures we are aware of are those from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence. These suggest that 1.6 million people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder, of which around 11% are male. However, more recent research from the NHS information centre showed that up to 6.4% of adults displayed signs of an eating disorder (Adult