Eating disorder affects one fifth of women

NEARLY one fifth of women in England have a possible eating disorder, new evidence has shown.

The Health Survey for England 2019 found that 19 per cent of women aged 16 and over had an unhealthy attitude towards food that could suggest an eating disorder. The figure for men was slightly lower at 13 per cent.

Prevalence was highest amongst women aged 16 to 24 (28 per cent) and 25 to 34 (27 per cent), before declining in line with age. For men, prevalence was highest among those aged between 25 and 34 (19 per cent) before declining.

The Health Survey monitors trends in the nation’s health and surveyed just over 8,000 adults and 2,000 children on topics including caring responsibilities, obesity, smoking and drinking.

Amongst its other findings was an increase over the last 25 years in the number of people who were overweight or obese. The survey found that 27 per cent of men and 29 per cent of women were obese in 2019. This compares to 13 per cent and 16 per cent respectively in 1993.

The proportion of adults with doctor-diagnosed diabetes has trebled in the last 25 years, rising from three per cent to nine per cent in men, and from two per cent to six per cent in women.

In more positive news, smoking levels have fallen over the past 25 years. Just under a fifth of men (18 per cent) and 15 per cent of women said they currently smoke, compared to 28 per cent and 27 per cent in 1994.

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