An estimated 5 to 10 million women and girls and 1 million men and boys in the United States suffer from eating disorders. Because people may be ashamed of or secretive about their eating disorders, cases may not be fully reported. There are many types of eating disorders, but the three most common eating disorders are:
- Anorexia Nervosa, a restrictive disorder in which food intake is extremely limited. Individuals with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body image and an intense drive for thinness;
- Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating, followed by forms of purging (e.g., vomiting, extreme exercise, laxative use) to minimize the effects of overeating; and
- Binge Eating, when a person has a history of diet failures, compulsively over eats, but does not regularly vomit, exercise or abuse laxatives like bulimics do.