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In the Clinic |

Eating Disorders

Evelyn Attia, MD
Ann Intern Med. 2012;156(7):ITC4-1. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-156-7-201204030-01004
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Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are serious mental illnesses associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality. In fact, anorexia nervosa has a mortality rate as high as that seen in any psychiatric illness (1, 2). Together with binge eating disorder (BED) (a condition currently classified in the Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified [NOS] category [3] but is likely to be considered a formal eating disorder in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition [DSM-5] [4]), eating disorders affect 2%–5% of the population (5). Although evidence on whether the overall rates of eating disorders are increasing is unclear, there is evidence that these illnesses are affecting an increasing number of younger patients (6) and individuals across a wide range of cultures and backgrounds (7, 8).

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