Canadian Girls Seeing Higher Rate of Eating Disorders

teens

The Canadian Institute for Health Information has reported a 42 percent increase in eating disorders among girls aged 10-19 years over the past two years. The eating disorder rate has remained relatively steady in Canada until these new two year spike, authorities say.

In fiscal 2012-2013, the national rate of teenage eating disorder hospitalizations was about 56.93 per 100,000 compared to 40.7 per 100,000 in 2010-11. One in three emergency room visits regarding eating disorders in Canada results in hospitalization, indicating that the severity is also on the rise.

Further analysis is required to know the reasons behind the sharp rise, say experts, but speculation is that it's related to a combination of factors such as the recent rise in mental illness rates, social media pressure, and the number of websites that now show eating disorders as possible diet options.

The findings from the CIHI are:

  • In 2012-2013, there were 1,585 hospitalizations for an eating disorder among females;
  • girls age 10 to 19 accounted for more than half.
  • That same year, there were 103 hospitalizations for an eating disorder for males of all ages.
  • On average, females stayed in hospital slightly longer than males (33.3 days versus 31.6 days).
  • Approximately 28 per cent of emergency department visits for eating disorders included admission to hospital for in-patient care.

 
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