In this day and age, the number of regular eaters is constantly and significantly decreasing, while more and more people develop eating disorders. Nowadays food is far more accessible and varied than in any past society, but physical activities are much more moderate. These factors often lead to eating habits that favor weight problems. However, despite the overall tendency of gaining weight, cultural society favors the slim and thin. Needless to mention, all these factors involve extremely disordered eating habits in a major segment of the population. About 60 percent of all adult American women have an eating disorder, meaning that although they do not have eating problems, their eating habits and beliefs are disordered. More often than not, eating disorders develop from disordered eating habits and beliefs, such as:
The risks of developing actual eating disorders increase with the more disordered eating habits and beliefs one has. Unfortunately, there are no precise figures for the number of people struggling with eating disorders, because they often deny or hide their disorders. Especially in the early stages, the symptoms of an eating disorder are not always obvious, and because of the general disordered eating habits, hiding or denying a real problem comes easily to those affected. Although precise figures are not available, according to estimates, between five and eight million people in the United States alone are currently affected by some form of eating problem. The most-affected segment of the population is young white women, with ages ranging from 12 to 35. However, the numbers are constantly increasing, and more statistics become alarming. The ages vary more, as both younger girls and older women become affected.