Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.
* The average American woman is 5’4″, weighs 140 lbs., and wears a size 14 dress.
* The “ideal” woman-portrayed by models, Miss America, Barbie dolls, and screen actresses–is 5’7″, weighs 100 lbs., and wears a size 8.
* One-third of all American women wear a size 16 or larger.
* 75% of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance.
* 50% of American women are on a diet at any one time.
* Between 90% and 99% of reducing diets fail to produce permanent weight loss.
* Two-thirds of dieters regain the weight within one year. Virtually all regain it within five years.
* The diet industry (diet foods, diet programs, diet drugs, etc.) takes in over $40 billion each year, and is still growing.
* Quick-weight-loss schemes are among the most common consumer frauds, and diet programs have the highest customer dissatisfaction of any service industry.
* Young girls are more afraid of becoming fat than they are of nuclear war, cancer, or losing their parents.
* 50% of 9-year-old girls and 80% of 10-year-old girls have dieted.
* 90% of high school junior and senior women diet regularly, even though only between 10% and 15% are over the weight recommended by the standard height-weight charts.
* 1% of teenage girls, and 5% of college-age women become anorectic or bulimic.
* Anorexia has the highest mortality rate (up to 20%) of any psychiatric diagnosis.
* Girls develop eating and self-image problems before drug or alcohol problems; there are drug and alcohol programs in almost every school, but no eating disorder programs.
©1996 Council on Size & Weight Discrimination, Inc., PO Box 305, Mt. Marion, NY 12456, (914-679-1209. Copying permitted (with copyright intact). Eating Disorder Awareness Week 1997.
EDAP (Eating Disorder Awareness & Prevention)
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