1. Headline
  1. Headline
By
updated 3/7/2011 4:17:24 PM ET 2011-03-07T21:17:24

More than half a million U.S. teens have had an eating disorder but few have sought treatment for the problem, government research shows.

The study is billed as the largest and most comprehensive analysis of eating disorders. It involved nationally representative data on more than 10,000 teens aged 13 to 18.

  1. Don't miss these Health stories
    1. More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
      Splash News

      Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 perce...

    2. Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
    3. Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
    4. CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
    5. What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says


Binge-eating disorder was the most common, affecting more than 1.5 percent of kids studied. Just under 1 percent had experienced bulimia, and 0.3 percent had had anorexia. Overall, 3 percent had a lifetime prevalence of one of the disorders. Another 3 percent of kids questioned had troubling symptoms but not full-fledged eating disorders.

The study was released online Monday in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The rates are slightly higher than in other studies. And the study is based on kids and parents interviewed over two years ending in 2004. But co-author and researcher Kathleen Merikangas of the National Institute of Mental Health says similar rates likely exist today.

More than half the affected teens had depression, anxiety or some other mental disorder. Sizeable numbers also reported suicide thoughts or attempts.

Merikangas said the results underscore the seriousness of eating disorders.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. Peter Kramer / NBC

    Derek Jeter tells TODAY: ‘I consider myself young again’

    9/30/2014 10:30:02 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T22:30:02
  1. 20th Cenrtry Fox via Everett Col

    Should you see ‘Gone Girl’? From Affleck to Fincher, 4 reasons to buy a ticket

    9/30/2014 5:37:22 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T17:37:22
  1. CDC confirms first Ebola case in U.S.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed the first patient to accidentally carry Ebola to the United States has been diagnosed at a hospital in Dallas.

    9/30/2014 9:02:46 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T21:02:46
  1. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

    White House breach was ‘unacceptable,' Secret Service director testifies

    9/30/2014 6:37:10 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T18:37:10
  1. Detroit Lions via Twitter

    Fumble! NFL player injured while potty-training his puppy

    9/30/2014 4:23:14 PM +00:00 2014-09-30T16:23:14