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Anorexia Index

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Eating Disorders by Country 2024

Although eating disorders have always existed on one level or another, their prevalence has been rising around the world. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, approximately 70 million people worldwide currently struggle with disordered eating. It’s also important to note that eating disorders affect both men and women, as well as non-binary people.

Countries with the Highest Prevalence of Eating Disorders

Different world populations experience eating disorders differently and are subject to unique collections of influences. Here’s a look at some of the countries and world regions where disordered eating is especially prevalent.

Eating Disorders in Western Nations

Comparatively speaking, eating disorders are most prevalent in Western countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada (with numbers at around 30 million, 1.25 million, and 800,000, respectively).

Factors like widespread, largely unattainable beauty standards and technological advances in this part of the world are thought to be major contributing factors. France, Australia, and similar countries also tend to have high numbers of citizens living with eating disorders.

Eating Disorders in Asia

Strict, unrealistic beauty standards also tend to be common across many Asian nations – such as Korea, India, China, and Japan – so various types of eating disorders are similarly prevalent. Globalization and the spread of Western beauty standards may be contributing factors.

Modern beauty standards are also common among people in nations across the Middle East (such as Israel) and South America (such as Argentina), leading to a higher prevalence of eating disorders in many of those regions. However, in 2023, it’s important to understand that disordered eating is truly a global problem.

Contributing Factors to Eating Disorder Prevalence

The collection of factors that may affect a nation’s eating disorder prevalence is complicated with each example connected to many of the others. Here are some examples to keep in mind.

Media Influence

People are strongly influenced by what they see on television, in movies, in magazines, and across social media where thin bodies are still widely celebrated as the gold standard. The greater the access to media that sets these standards, the more likely a country’s people will be to develop eating disorders.

Psychological Considerations

In nations where perfectionism, trauma, low self-esteem, and similar issues are prevalent, eating disorder rates may also be on the higher side. The disorders often serve as ways to cope with the unique type of distress these problems can cause.

Socioeconomic Factor

In nations where eating disorder prevalence is already high, socioeconomic standing may further impact the numbers. Lack of means can drastically limit a population’s access to treatment options for eating disorders and similar problems.

- Data for Anorexia Prevalence displays the average reported cases of anorexia per 100,000 people for the years 1990–2017.

Download Table Data

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Country
Anorexia Index (per 100k)
Luxembourg158.45
Brunei141.95
Spain130.74
Singapore128.23
Finland124.82
Andorra122.58
Germany120.86
New Zealand120.41
Netherlands116.85
Iceland115.4
Austria112.43
Switzerland112.28
Cyprus112.03
Greenland108.37
Belgium104.49
United States103.54
Ireland102.76
France102.39
United Kingdom101.96
Norway99.16
Australia98.93
Malta97.41
Denmark97.02
Sweden95.85
Italy95.4
Portugal93.04
Greece88.14
Israel84.52
South Korea82.94
Canada80.48
Chile78.96
Argentina78.88
Japan74.55
Uruguay73.12
Kuwait63.75
Equatorial Guinea62.07
Guam56.83
Qatar56.69
Saudi Arabia56.1
Bahamas53.9
Bermuda53.39
United States Virgin Islands52
Malaysia51.52
Gabon51.26
Trinidad and Tobago51.26
Antigua and Barbuda51.26
Botswana50.86
Puerto Rico50.52
Taiwan50.13
Panama49.85
Dominican Republic48.42
Brazil48.18
Mexico47.08
Oman46.98
Venezuela46.7
Costa Rica46.61
United Arab Emirates45.99
Paraguay45.59
American Samoa44.73
Suriname44.69
Namibia44.68
South Africa44.23
Belize44.23
Seychelles44.19
Northern Mariana Islands43.6
Colombia43.47
Bahrain43.34
Guatemala42.9
El Salvador42.81
Ecuador42.24
Maldives42.05
Jamaica41.99
Kazakhstan41.84
Saint Lucia41.82
Mauritius41.69
Grenada41.43
Estonia40.98
Peru40.88
Barbados39.78
Azerbaijan39.72
Lebanon39.69
Iran39.45
Dominica39.45
Bhutan39.39
Turkmenistan38.85
Guyana38.8
Cape Verde38.02
Iraq37.72
Indonesia37.71
Thailand37.64
Honduras37.6
Slovakia36.91
Fiji36.74
Angola36.71
Sri Lanka36.59
Nicaragua36.57
Nigeria36.48
Turkey36.36
Bolivia36.22
Laos36.15
Republic of the Congo36.07
Algeria36.05
Poland35.98
Jordan35.98
Philippines35.89
Mongolia35.72
Russia35.34
Libya35.33
China35.17
Pakistan35.07
Lithuania34.65
Ghana34.63
Czech Republic34.32
Egypt34.26
India33.99
Myanmar33.67
Hungary33.52
Zambia33.34
Slovenia32.75
Mauritania32.56
Tonga32.52
Uzbekistan32.43
Belarus32.28
Vietnam32.22
Tunisia32.16
Latvia32.05
Cuba32.04
Lesotho31.85
Kenya31.75
Montenegro31.7
Samoa31.62
Croatia31.44
Bangladesh31.4
Cameroon31.3
Romania31.17
Ivory Coast31.1
North Macedonia30.98
Marshall Islands30.65
Morocco30.57
Albania30.52
Micronesia30.22
Cambodia30.17
Nepal30.1
Djibouti30.07
Papua New Guinea29.47
Serbia29.4
Tanzania29.3
Armenia29.19
South Sudan29.06
Vanuatu28.89
Haiti28.77
Senegal28.52
Syria28.43
Zimbabwe28.42
Bulgaria28.09
Uganda27.84
Benin27.81
Sudan27.56
Gambia27.48
Palestine27.09
Georgia27.03
Bosnia and Herzegovina26.95
Kyrgyzstan26.81
Sierra Leone26.8
Rwanda26.72
Chad26.48
Ukraine26.42
Mali26.39
Ethiopia26.13
Solomon Islands26.09
Tajikistan25.96
Guinea25.8
Kiribati25.69
Burkina Faso25.66
Eritrea25.46
Comoros25.41
Yemen25.3
Moldova25.3
Togo25.25
Mozambique25.22
Madagascar24.8
Malawi24.44
North Korea23.58
Central African Republic22.44
Liberia22.32
DR Congo21.79
Burundi21.68
Afghanistan21.46
Niger21.41
Somalia18.99
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Which countries have the highest eating disorder rates?

Japan, India, Argentina, and Israel have the highest overall rates of eating disorders.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources