Conservative estimates indicate that 1-3% of college females suffer from eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. Countless more suffer from “disordered eating”, behaviors which can also be very dangerous. Some studies suggest that up to one-third of college women have disordered eating habits such as extreme dieting, diet pill or laxative use, or mild to moderate binge eating, purging, or excessive exercise. Women who have "disordered eating" may also engage in unhealthy eating or exercise behaviors, but perhaps less frequently or consistently
Men also struggle with eating disorders and disordered eating. In fact, Anorexia among men is on the rise, and up to 40% of those with Binge Eating Disorder are male. Men are also more likely than women to engage in excessive exercise in order to create their "ideal" body type: muscle mass and tone. Men also tend to use substances such as protein powder, creatine, steroids, etc. in unhealthy ways in an effort to change their bodies. Be aware that heterosexual men, as well as homosexual and bisexual men, can develop problematic eating and exercise disorders.
Unfortunately, the college years are a time when disordered eating often manifests or re-emerges for many men and women. This may be due to college students' vulnerability to the pressures of success and acceptance, their struggles to develop their own identities, and a social environment that often promotes distorted ideals of beauty. College women 18 to 22 years old have higher rates of bulimia compared to women who are younger, not in college, or over age 22.