Myths About Eating Disorders



1. Eating Disorders Only Affect a Small Number of People – Eating disorders affect more than three times as many people as type 1 diabetes and nearly as many people as asthma.  One in 10 people will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.


2. Eating Disorders Aren’t a “Serious” Illness -  Eating disorders can be deadly. The mortality rates of those with AN are almost  times as high as those with asthma and nearly as high as those with diabetes. People with eating disorders also have a higher risk for dying from suicide than any other mental health condition, including schizophrenia.


3. Eating Disorders Stay With You Forever -  Many people with eating disorders can be cured. Good outcomes are much more likely with specialized treatment that begins early in the illness.

4. Eating Disorders are a Choice Not an Illness -  Research has shown that genetic factors play a role in eating disorders. Biological factors increase the likelihood of a person suffering from an eating disorder.


5. Parents cause eating disorders in their kids -  Parents do not cause eating disorders, but they are instrumental to recovery from eating disorders.  Anorexia and Bulimia, in particular, are predominantly genetic illnesses.


Despite the fact that eating disorders are affecting and killing so many people, funding for research into eating disorders is a tiny fraction of the funding associated with diseases like type 1 diabetes and asthma.


Many people believe eating disorders are learned behavior or behavior caused by bad parenting....that is not the case.