We estimate that around 1.25 million people in the UK have an eating disorder. While there have been some significant and well-designed studies conducted in the UK in recent years, overall there has not been sufficient research to draw firm conclusions about the prevalence of eating disorders in the UK. Therefore, our estimate is based predominately on research carried out in other countries (primarily other western European countries, Northern European countries, the USA and Australia). Of course, this is not ideal, given the different social and cultural contexts and access to treatment between countries.
We will revise this estimate as new data becomes available. We are in the process of attempting to obtain unpublished data that would reduce the uncertainty in this estimate.