Who does it affect?
Eating Disorders do not discriminate.
Eating disorders and body image issues affect people from all walks of life and do not discriminate.
No matter your size, shape, age, abilities, gender identity, sexuality, cultural or linguistic background, economic status, profession or location, anyone can experience an eating disorder.
The research into who is affected is growing. For example, we know that discrimination, trauma, and exposure to violence and abuse can increase someone’s risk of developing a body image issue or eating disorder. In addition, pressure to conform to social or cultural stereotypes can also play a part.
Butterfly is committed to understanding and meeting the needs of all Australians experiencing eating disorders and body image issues. Thanks to funding from the Australian Federal Government we are also implementing specific supports for undeserved help-seekers who are often assumed to not be at risk.
More than 37% of people experiencing eating disorders identify as male
Around 30% of young people are extremely or very concerned about their body image (Mission Australia, 2019)
Men and boys are subjected to different cultural messages about appearance than women and girls, but these messages still make them vulnerable to body image issues and eating disorders.
People from migrant and refugee backgrounds face unique stressors, and these can result in body dissatisfaction, unhelpful coping strategies, and eating disorders.