The social and economic cost of eating disorders in the United States

The impact of eating disorders in the United States reached nearly $ 400 billion in 2018-2019 when considering both economic costs and decreased well-being, according to a study published in International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Investigators estimated that the total economic cost associated with eating disorders in 2018-2019 was $ 64.7 billion, equivalent to $ 11,808 per person, and the value of the significant decrease in well-being associated with eating disorders was $ 326.5 billion.

“Our study demonstrates the devastating economic impact of eating disorders in the United States, a country where the majority of affected people suffer alone and never receive adequate treatment due to barriers to health care and lack of training for health care providers,” said co-author S. Bryn Austin, ScD , Director of STRIPED (Strategic Eating Disorder Prevention Training Initiative) and Professor at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health and Boston Children’s Hospital. “Through our study, we now have the important data that we need to begin to estimate cost-effectiveness, improve quality of life and, most importantly, save lives by expanding effective prevention, early detection, and treatment interventions for eating disorders.”


Eating Disorder Awareness Week in the UK takes place from 1-7 March 2021.

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