Over the last decades, eating disorders among children and teens have dramatically risen, with the highest increase among boys and minority youths. This is according to a new report that has just been conducted.

Citing one shocking figures in the report, an analysis done by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have found out that the number of hospitalization cases due to eating disorders has increased for more than 119 percent. This was just from 1999 to 2006, with children below 12 involved. Cases of anorexia and bulimia have also risen, as well as partial-syndrome eating disorders, characterized by having some symptoms of an eating disorder. It has been noted that wrestlers, gymnasts, performers and even dancers and models are more at risk to these eating disorders.

There have been more and more eating disorder cases than there was before but today, little boys and other children are the ones suffering. A report from Dr. David Rosen said that children mostly those at the lower level of social strata have been affected with eating disorders. Dr. Rosen, who is a professor of Pediatrics, Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, further said that sufferers are typically white girls at a very young age. Rosen wanted to show people that eating disorders are “equal-opportunity disorders.” This particular report was published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

Around 0.5 percent of young girls in the United States are suffering from anorexia while about 1-2 percent are suffering from bulimia. Generally, there are about 0.8 to 14 percent of Americans who have shown physical and psychological symptoms of eating disorders.

The percentage of boys suffering from eating disorders has grown tremendously, now reaching the percentage of around 5 to 10 percent although according to Lisa Lilenfeld of Eating Disorder Coalition for Research, Policy and Action in Washington, D.C., actual updated figures may even be higher.

With over 200 recent studies analyzed, Rosen and his team has found out that the rise of eating disorder cases is not mainly because of the media presenting images of very thin women. It has been found out that eating disorders can be related to the genetic component of an individual. This is closely related to other mental health problems and addictions. All these and more work together into making a person suffer from eating disorders.

As eating disorder cases rise, so are the cases of obesity. Obesity is addressed by physicians through counseling of parents and children about nutrition, which when not properly carried through, may cause a backfire. According to Rosen, children with eating disorders were counseled previously by physicians because of obesity. Dieting is not at all a good way to combat obesity as this may lead to an eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa, is said to have a long-term effect on a person’s health, and may lead to other serious problems like osteoporosis and death. Looking at the bright side, eating disorders can be “cured,” according to Rosen. People just need to learn to control the disorder like controlling alcoholism.