Study Discusses Economic Impact Of Eating Disorders In The U.S.

Nov, 2020 - By SMI

Study Discusses Economic Impact Of Eating Disorders In The U.S.

A new report showed that eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge-eating cost around US$ 65 billion annually to the US economy.

According to the research team, out of the total expenditure, around 27% or US$ 48.6 billion was attributable to loss of productivity. Dr S Bryn Austin, co-investigator and director of the Strategic Training Initiative for the Prevention of Eating Disorders (STRIPED) program explained that the study aims to discuss the incriminating impact which eating disorder have on the economy of the United States as several people in the country suffer from these disorders alone and do not receive the proper treatment due to hurdles to health care and absence or shortage of well trained staff. In a press release from the AED (Academy for Eating Disorders), Dr Austin reported that the study has allowed researchers to collect crucial data needed for estimating the cost effectiveness, quality of life, and the number of lives which can be saved by upscaling prevention measures, early disease detection, and treatments for eating disorders.

Researchers found that nearly 54000 emergency room visits resulting from eating disorders occurred between 2018 and 2019. These cost around US$ 29 million and around 24,000 hospitalizations resulting from eating disorders cost US$ 209 million. Furthermore, around 10,200 deaths occurred due to eating disorders for the years 2018 and 2019. The report also adds that around 28.8 million people, that’s 9% of the U.S population, will suffer from an eating disorder in their life. Eating disorders can affect any gender and age, however, girls and women are at a higher risk of this mental illness compared with males. The team noted that eating disorders are estimated to increase by 5% in the next 10 years. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in eating disorders. Moreover, the social distancing restrictions are preventing patients from receiving a timely treatment. Experts predicted that suicide rate is expected to grow during the pandemic, with a 23 times higher rate in those with eating disorders.

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