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HealthInfo Canterbury

How common are anorexia & bulimia?

Bulimia and anorexia are more common in women than in men. Some men do have eating disorders, but anorexia is about 10 times more common and bulimia is about four times more common in women.

In New Zealand, between 2% and 3% of women aged from 18 to 44 are thought to have had anorexia and/or bulimia at some time in their lives.

Depression, suicidal thoughts, drug or alcohol abuse, and anxiety are all common in people with anorexia or bulimia. Some people have also survived sexual, physical or emotional abuse.

Eating disorders affect people of all ages and in all social classes. They are also becoming more common and affecting people at a younger age.

Page reference: 76184

Review key: HIEDI-73561