Current Psychiatry Reports

, 15:411 | Cite as

Expanding the Boundaries: Reconfiguring the Demographics of the “Typical” Eating Disordered Patient

  • Kathleen M. PikeEmail author
  • Patricia E. Dunne
  • Evette Addai
Eating Disorders (AS Kaplan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Eating Disorders


Eating disorders have long been recognized as problems afflicting a narrow segment of select populations: Caucasian, adolescent or young adult women from high-income Western countries. This review highlights recent data that reexamine and revise this constricted view of eating disorders in two specific ways. First, data are steadily accumulating that document the increasing prevalence of eating disorders among younger and older individuals. Pre-pubertal children and women in middle and late adulthood are increasingly presenting for eating disorder treatment. Second, data from around the globe indicate that there is nothing uniquely “Western” about eating disorders. As highlighted in this review, eating disorders are a global health problem, and they are predictably on the rise in many parts of the world. The data are also clear that ethnic and racial minority groups and immigrants within North America are vulnerable to eating disorders. This growing knowledge base expands the boundaries of what has historically been considered the “typical” eating disordered patient and should raise awareness among health care providers of the needs of the broader community that is at risk for eating disturbances.


Eating disorders Anorexia nervosa Bulimia nervosa Binge eating disorder Culture Children Adults Psychiatry 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Kathleen M. Pike, Patricia E. Dunne and Evette Addai declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Recently published papers of particular interest have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen M. Pike
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Patricia E. Dunne
    • 1
  • Evette Addai
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Counselling & Clinical Psychology, Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry College of Physicians and SurgeonsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychiatryColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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