Did you know? Facts about eating disorders.

A federal report was released last November and highlights the need for expanded care and support for eating disorders. You can access the full report here.

Some of the key points from this report are highlighted for you below:

  • Eating disorders affect as many as 600,000-990,000 Canadians at any time, of which 70-80% are female. The actual incidence is expected to be higher since this figure comes from those seeking treatment and U.S data shows us that only 1 in 10 men and women with eating disorders receive treatment and only 35% of people that receive treatment for eating disorders get treatment at a specialized facility for eating disorders. 
  • Eating disorders are ranked as one of five most common mental illnesses by the Mental Health Commission and have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness.
  • More young women are being hospitalized for eating disorders and there has been a 40% increase in hospitalizations for girls aged 10-19 from 2007 to 2013. Read about it
  • The incidence in men seems also to be on the rise and has risen to 30% from approximately 20%.
  • The mortality of eating disorders is estimated between 10-15% but is likely underreported and higher given death certificates often report the medical complication(s) arising from the disorder rather than the eating disorder itself for cause of death.
  • Anorexia and bulimia nervosa kill an estimated 1,000-1,500 Canadians per year yet Canada’s total combined inpatient and residential capacity to treat such patients is well under 100 in number across Canada and wait-times for these facilities are ranging between 4 months and one year. 
  • Best treatment practice requires prompt, expert, long-term multidisciplinary treatment for optimal outcomes. According to leading expert Dr. Blake Woodside, Medical Director of the Toronto General Eating Disorder Program, treatment should last on average 6 months, further supporting the need for a longer-term, specialized residential facility dedicated toward eating disorders as a step down from intensive hospital care that is typically shorter-term and geared towards stabilization of life-threatening health risks (Woodside,2014).
  • Residential care provides a means by which treatment costs can be decreased to approximately $750-1000 per day and provide the longer term, intensive care required for best possible outcomes, ranging between 70-80% for bulimia and 65-70% for anorexia (Woodside, 2014).