This report covers the prevalence of possible eating disorders in adults in England. It presents the proportion of adults who screened positive, as well as those who reported that their feelings about food had a significant negative impact on their life.
- In 2019, 16% of adults aged over 16 (19% of women and 13% of men) screened positive for a possible eating disorder. This included 4% (5% of women and 3% of men) reported that their feelings about food had interfered with their ability to work, meet personal responsibilities or enjoy a social life.
- The proportion of adults over 16 who screened positive for a possible eating disorder increased as household income decreased.
- Body Mass Index (BMI) status was associated with screening positive for a possible eating disorder. Obese and morbidly obese adults were more likely to screen positive, compared with adults in lower BMI categories (23% of obese, 42% of morbidly obese adults, compared with between 11% and 14% of those in the underweight, normal weight and overweight categories).
- Adults who screened positive for a potential eating disorder were more likely than others to have seen their GP in the last 12 months (82%, compared with 74%); to have seen their GP three or more times (50%, compared with 36%); and to have consulted for a mental health, nervous or emotional problem (24%, compared with 10%). They were also more likely to have received counselling or therapy (16%, compared with 7%).
Download the report and tables here.