An estimated 15 percent of U.S. college students have eating disorders, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So chances are, most of us know someone with an eating disorder.
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The most lethal of mental illnesses, eating disorders affect about 4 percent of the population, according to Smith. As the disease has been recognized and studied, more programs have become available in recent years. To date, however, services are limited in Western Massachusetts.
“There is a plethora of services in eastern Massachusetts,” Smith said. “Once you go west at all, there are no specialized programs.”