Purpose of review
Eating disorders (anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and other eating disorders) affect young people worldwide. This narrative review summarizes key studies conducted on the prevalence of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) eating disorders among young people in 2013-22.
In Western settings, a substantial proportion of young people have reported an eating disorder. Overall, 5.5--17.9% of young women and 0.6–2.4% of young men have experienced a DSM-5 eating disorder by early adulthood. Lifetime DSM-5 anorexia nervosa was reported by 0.8–6.3% of women and 0.1–0.3% of men, bulimia nervosa by 0.8–2.6% of women and 0.1–0.2% of men, binge eating disorder by 0.6–6.1% of women and 0.3–0.7% of men, other specified feeding or eating disorders by 0.6–11.5% of women and 0.2–0.3% of men, and unspecified feeding or eating disorders 0.2–4.7% of women and 0–1.6% of men. Gender and sexual minorities were at particularly high risk. Emerging studies from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Latin America show similar high prevalences. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the incidence of eating disorders has still increased.
Eating disorders are a global health concern among young people. Improved detection, management, and prevention methods are urgently needed.