Eating disorder not otherwise specified presentation in the US population

Int J Eat Disord. 2012 Jul;45(5):711-8. doi: 10.1002/eat.22006. Epub 2012 Mar 12.


Objective: To examine prevalence and clinical correlates of eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) in the US population.

Method: Two cross-sectional surveys of adults and adolescents used the WHO CIDI to assess DSM-IV criteria for anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), and EDNOS.

Results: Lifetime prevalence of EDNOS was 4.78% in adolescents and 4.64% in adults. The majority of adolescents and adults with an eating disorder presented with EDNOS. Three-quarters of participants with EDNOS met criteria for comorbid disorders, while one-quarter endorsed suicidality. Severity correlates were equally prevalent in EDNOS and AN, whereas comparisons between EDNOS and BN varied by specific correlate and sample. Adolescents with subthreshold AN (SAN) endorsed more anxiety than AN (p < .05), and adolescents and adults with SAN endorsed more suicidal plans than AN (p's < .05).

Discussion: Findings increase our understanding of the clinical relevance of EDNOS. Eating disorder diagnostic nomenclature requires modification to capture the full spectrum. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2012.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / classification
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Severity of Illness Index