Interesting College Eating Disorder Statistics

Eating disorders are illnesses in which victims suffer severe disturbances in their eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. They affect several million people at any given time, usually women of ages 12-35. There are two main types of eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa; a third disorder, binge eating disorder, is being examined.

  • 15.5% of college students ages 18-24 are overweight
  • 28.8% of college students older than 25 are overweight
  • Eating disorders affect 5-10 million women and 1 million men, with the highest rates occurring in college-aged women.
  • More than 90% of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25 (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 2003). However, hundreds of thousands of boys are affected by these disorders (U.S. DHHS Office on Women’s Health, 2000).

American Psychiatric Association. (2005). Let’s talk facts about eating disorders. Accessed from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997, November). National college health risk behavior survey (NCHRBS): MMWR, 46(SS-6).
National Mental Health Association, (n.d.). Retrieved from
SAMHSA’s National Mental Health Information Center. Article Retrieved from