Skip to content

Eating Disorders Among Adults - Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent and frequent episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food (e.g., binge-eating), and feeling a lack of control over the eating. This binge-eating is followed by a type of behavior that compensates for the binge, such as purging (e.g., vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics), fasting and/or excessive exercise. Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia can fall within the normal range for their weight. But like people with anorexia, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape.

Additional information about bulimia nervosa can be found on NIMH’s eating disorders page.

Prevalence.  12 month prevalence, Severe and  Lifetime prevalence.
Average age of onset is 20 years
Demographics for lifetime prevalence

Treatment Service Use.

View/Download PDF

Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication.   Biological Psychiatry.  2007; 61:348-58.