With Halloween around the corner, “scary” themes are all around us. But far more frightening than fictitious goblins, zombies and monsters are the hard truths about eating disorders, ranging from unhealthy body image and distorted perception of self, to life-threatening anorexia and bulimia.

Anorexia by City on Fire

5 scary facts about eating disorders in Canada

  1. 1 in 2 healthy weight adolescent girls, and 1 in 10 healthy weight adolescent boys, are actively dieting to lose weight.
  2. 1 in 25 Canadian women and 1 in 100 Canadian men will be diagnosed with an eating disorder in their lifetime.
  3. In Canada, a diagnosis of an eating disorder is more likely to be fatal than a diagnosis of breast cancer. 1 in 5 of those diagnosed will die as a result of complications brought on by their eating disorder.
  4. Eating disorders respond well to intensive treatment. In Germany, where intensive treatment is universally provided, the fatality rate for eating disorders is half the Canadian rate.
  5. In Canada only 1 in 10 of those diagnosed with an eating disorder receives intensive treatment.


The math of saving lives

  • There are approximately 17 million women and 17 million men in Canada.
  • Approximately 850,000 Canadians (680,000 women and 170,000 men) will suffer from an eating disorder in their lifetime.
  • 1 in 5 of these people, or 170,000 Canadians, will die as a result of their eating disorder.
  • Intensive treatment would likely prevent 50% of those deaths.

Adequate funding for disordered eating could save the lives of 85,000 Canadians — that’s the equivalent to the entire population of Chilliwack, BC.

What you can do to help

To help save thousands of lives, you can support Project True in raising awareness and/or raising funds to open a much-needed day centre for the treatment of eating disorders in Vancouver.

6 steps you can take today:

  1. Vote for Project True in the Aviva Community Fund competition here. You can vote once/day until Nov 5 — each vote brings us one step closer to opening the Project True Day Centre.
  2. Like Project True on Facebook, then let your friends know about our page.
  3. Follow Project True on Twitter, RT any facts or quotes that inspire you, and help spread the word about PT.
  4. Repin pins you love from Project True’s Pinterest boards.
  5. Promote the facts in this article to your friends, family and colleagues, either online or next time you hang out.
  6. Donate to help us fund the Project True day centre (anything you can give — even $5 — makes a difference).