Who is affected Anyone can be affected by an eating disorder. The media often portrays the people affected as young, white, rich, and female, but we see people of all ages, ethnicities, income and genders. In 2015, a report commissioned by Beat estimated that more than 725,000 people in the UK are affected by an eating disorder. This could be an underestimation, as people are often reluctant to seek help due to the stigma attached to mental health issues. Around 1 in 250 women and 1 in 2,000 men will experience anorexia nervosa at some point. The condition usually develops around the age of 16 or 17. Bulimia is around two to three times more common than anorexia nervosa, and 90% of people with the condition are female. It usually develops around the age of 18 or 19. Binge eating affects males and females equally and usually appears later in life, between the ages of 30 and 40. As it's difficult to precisely define binge eating, it's not clear how widespread it is, but it's estimated to affect around 5% of the adult population.