You may think you understand the issue at hand, but until you see the hard data, you do not know the level of epidemic we are facing. Take a look at some of the most alarming statistics around body image and eating disorders.
One study reports that at age thirteen, 53% of American girls are “unhappy with their bodies.” This grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.
50% of teens are “self-conscious” about their bodies; 26.2% report being “dissatisfied”. By age 60, 28.7% of women feel “dissatisfied” and 32.6% feel “self-conscious” about their bodies.
45.5% of teens report considering cosmetic surgery, 43.7% of women over 60 report considering cosmetic surgery.
When asked “Are you happy with your body?” 43.2% of teens answered “yes,” 37.7% of women in their 60s answered “yes”.
40-60% of elementary school girls are concerned about their weight or about becoming “too fat”.
A majority of girls (59%) reported dissatisfaction with their body shape, and 66 percent expressed the desire to lose weight.
46% of 9-11 year-olds are “sometimes” or “very often” on diets, and 82% of their families are ‘”sometimes” or “very often” on diets.
Studies at Stanford University and the University of Massachusetts found that 70% of college women say they feel worse about their own looks after reading women’s magazines.
Fifteen percent of young women have substantially disordered eating attitudes and behaviors.
Studies indicate that by their first year of college, 4.5 to 18 percent of women and 0.4 percent of men have a history of bulimia and that as many as 1 in 100 females between the ages of 12 and 18 have anorexia.
According to The Center for Mental Health Services 90 percent of those who have eating disorders are women between the ages of 12 and 25.
For females between fifteen to twenty-four years old who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of all other causes of death.
20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life.
The rate of development of new cases of eating disorders has been increasing since 1950.