The Korea Herald


More young women prone to eating disorders


Published : Aug. 4, 2011 - 18:46

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At least 13,000 women visited hospitals for eating disorders over the past five years, Rep. Sohn Sook-mi of the ruling Grand National Party said recently, quoting a Health Insurance Review and Assessment report.

Most of them were in their 20s and 30s and extremely conscious of their looks, according to the report. It also said the number of people treated for bulimia or anorexia rose from 2,350 in 2006 to 3,062 in 2010, showing an increase of about 30 percent.

The medical expenses resulting from eating disorders also jumped from 537 million won ($507,500) in 2006 to 938 million won in 2010.

Women in their 20s accounted for 27.4 percent of the total number of women visiting hospitals for eating disorders, or 3,732, followed by 30-somethings and teenagers.

“Many women tend to torture themselves with diets upon the arrival of the vacation season,” said Sohn, who is also a chemist. “However, bad eating habits could trigger a variety of other disorders such as depression and malnutrition, which could eventually threaten lives,” she said, advising people to have balanced meals and regular exercise instead.