There was a consistent increase in the incidence of AN over the period from 1931 to 1986 in industrialized countries (Hoek, 1993). A study conducted in northeastern Scotland (Eagles et al., 1995) showed that between 1965 and 1991 there was almost a sixfold increase in the incidence of anorexia (from 3 in 100,000 to 17 in 100,000 cases). The male-female ratio for eating disorders lies consistently between 1/10 and 1/20 (Hoek, 1993).
AN is rare in non-Western, poorly industrialized countries (Lee, Leung, & Lee, 1996). Individuals and groups who are exposed to the ideal of a slender body type seem to be a risk for developing an eating disorder (Crago, Schisslak, & Estes, 1996). Areview of eight studies in the 1980s (Gard & Freeman, 1996) failed to support a higher social economic class prevalence in AN.
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