OSFEDs may be more common than most people think. OSFED statistics reveal the prevalence of these conditions, as well as who is most at risk of developing them.

Other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED) is a diagnosis given to people who do not fully meet criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa but demonstrate clinically significant eating disorder symptoms. OSFED statistics provide information about these types of eating disorders, how prevalent they are and who is affected by them.

Prevalence of OSFED

The prevalence of OSFED varies among specific disorders, as there are multiple subtypes of OSFED. Research has shown how common the various types of OSFED are:

  • Atypical Anorexia Nervosa: According to atypical anorexia nervosa facts, 2.8% of females will experience this eating disorder by the age of 20
  • Bulimia Nervosa (of low frequency and/or limited duration): Bulimia nervosa of low frequency is a subthreshold disorder that does not meet the full criteria for a bulimia diagnosis, and by the age of 20, 4.4% of females will have experienced this condition
  • Binge Eating Disorder (of low frequency and/or limited duration): Once they reach the age of 20, 3.6% of women will meet criteria for this subthreshold form of binge eating disorder
  • Purging Disorder: This OSFED affects 3.4% of women by the time they reach 20 years of age, according to purging disorder statistics
  • Night Eating Syndrome: According to night eating syndrome statistics, 4.2% of people meet criteria for this condition, but the prevalence drops to 2.9% when those who also binge eat are eliminated

OSFED and Co-Occurring Disorders

The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders has reported on the comorbidity between OSFED and other conditions. OSFED and substance abuse occur commonly together, and OSFED and alcohol use are particularly likely to be seen together. According to the research, about 10% of people with an OSFED diagnosis also have a substance abuse disorder. Almost half of those with an OSFED also have a mood disorder, such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Statistics on OSFED Treatment

While an OSFED diagnosis may involve unhealthy eating behaviors and comorbid diagnoses that can make recovery difficult, treatment is available and often effective. There are both inpatient and outpatient programs available, and OSFED treatment varies based on the severity of the condition and a person’s specific needs.

OSFED treatment typically involves talk therapy methods like cognitive behavior therapy, which has been shown to be effective for treating eating disorder symptoms.

If you or a loved one lives with an OSFED and co-occurring substance abuse disorder, The Recovery Village can provide a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses both conditions. Contact an admissions representative today to begin your journey toward recovery.

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Editor – Megan Hull
Megan Hull is a content specialist who edits, writes and ideates content to help people find recovery. Read more
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Medically Reviewed By – Jenni Jacobsen, LSW
Dr. Jenni Jacobsen is a licensed social worker through the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has over seven years working in the social work field, working with clients with addiction-related and mental health diagnoses. Read more

National Eating Disorders Association. “Other specified feeding or eating disorder.” 2018. Accessed May 6, 2019.

Stice, E., et al. “Prevalence, incidence, impairment, and c[…]study of young women.” Journal of Abnormal Psychology, May 2013. Accessed May 7, 2019.

Runfola, C.D., et al. “Prevalence and clinical significance of […] university students.”  Journal of Adolescent Health,July 2014. Accessed May 7, 2019.

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. “Eating disorder statistics.” 2019. Accessed May 9, 2019.

Linardon, J. “Meta-analysis of the effects of cognitiv[…]f therapeutic change.” Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, March 2018. Accessed May 10, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers.