HealthDay News — Eating disorders are highly prevalent worldwide, especially among women, according to research published in the May issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Marie Galmiche, from Normandy Rouen University in France, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review (2000 to 2018) to identify studies examining the prevalence of eating disorders and assess trends.

The researchers identified 94 studies with an accurate eating disorder diagnosis and 27 with a broad eating disorder diagnosis. The weighted means of lifetime eating disorders were 8.4% for women and 2.2% for men among the 94 studies with an accurate eating disorder diagnosis. For 12-month eating disorder prevalence, the weighted means were 2.2% for women and 0.7% for men. The weighted means of point eating disorder prevalence increased from 3.5% for 2000 to 2006 to 7.8% for 2013 to 2018. By geography, the weighted means of point prevalence were 4.6% in America, 2.2% in Europe, and 3.5% in Asia. An additional 27 studies reported the prevalence of eating disorders as broad categories, yielding weighted means of total point prevalence of any eating disorder of 19.4% for women and 13.8% for men.

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“This highlights a real challenge for public health and health care providers,” the authors write.

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