Is binge eating disorder primarily an American problem?

26 July 2018 (Last Updated July 26th, 2018 12:00)

The burden of binge eating disorder (BED) is expected to grow in men and women, ages 13 years and older, between 2017 and 2027 in the seven major markets (7MM: US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan). GlobalData epidemiologists forecast an increase in the number of diagnosed prevalent cases, most notably in the US. Figure 1 presents the expected changes in the 7MM from 2017 to 2027.

Is binge eating disorder primarily an American problem?

The burden of binge eating disorder (BED) is expected to grow in men and women, ages 13 years and older, between 2017 and 2027 in the seven major markets (7MM: US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, UK, and Japan). GlobalData epidemiologists forecast an increase in the number of diagnosed prevalent cases, most notably in the US. Figure 1 presents the expected changes in the 7MM from 2017 to 2027.

BED is an eating disorder characterised by eating large quantities of food in a discrete period of time, and feeling a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode. BED can be characterised as an American disorder because of the high prevalence and number of cases in this country. In 2017, the BED prevalent cases in the US for ages 15 years and older was 134,500 cases, with an increase to 143,050 cases in 2027. While the 5EU combined only had 32,300 prevalent cases in 2017, there is estimated to be a small increase to 33,000 cases. Japan, on the other hand, is expected to have a decrease in diagnosed prevalent cases from 29,000 cases in 2017 to 27,600 cases in 2027 (Figure 1). The number of cases of BED in the US accounted for 68.73% of all BED cases in the 7MM in 2017. We expect this pattern to continue into the next decade, with the number of cases in the US accounting for 70.20% of BED cases in the 7MM in 2027.

The diagnosed prevalence of BED being so much higher in the US can be attributed to differences in lifestyle in comparison to the 5EU and Japan. Super-sized portions and fast food chains with drive-through services can predominantly be found in the US, giving easy access to high calorie foods. The traditional Japanese diet is extremely dissimilar from the standard American diet. Japanese staples include fresh fish, rice, soy, vegetables, fruit, and green tea, while the American diet relies heavily on red meat, poultry and processed foods high in salt or added sugar, leading to obesity, a comorbidity of BED.