Half (50%) of Canadians Have Been Exposed to Eating Disorders, Whether It's Someone They Know or Themselves

One in Three (35%) Canadians Admit They Wouldn't be able to Recognize the Signs of an Eating Disorder in a Friend or Family Member

Toronto, ON - According to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, one half (50%) of Canadians `agree' (26% strongly/24% somewhat) that they know someone who, either currently or in the past, has had an eating disorder - and this person could include themselves. The other half (50%) of Canadians `disagree' (30% strongly/20% somewhat) that they know someone who has struggled in this way.

Interestingly girls (56%) are more likely than boys (43%) to say this is the case, as are those aged 18 to 34 (60%) compared to those aged 35 to 54 (51%) or 55+ (40%).

While most Canadians think eating disorders are preventable (89%) and treatable (97%), one in three Canadians `disagree' (35%) `4% strongly/32% somewhat) that they would be `able to recognize the signs of an eating disorder in a friend or family member'.

The data reveals that although many believe these disorders are an option, most consider them to be serious and threatening. Four in ten (40%) Canadians believe eating disorders are a choice, two in ten (21%) think they are genetic, while large majorities considers them to be a mental illness (76%) and potentially life-threatening (95%).

Self-esteem appears to play an important role in the eyes of many, particularly for children. Thinking about what children ages 6 to 18 struggle the most with, four in ten (41%) believe they struggle the most with body image and self-esteem, followed by bullying (33%). Others believe kids struggle the most with obesity (11%), academic stress (10%) or some other thing (3%). Only 2% indicate that children ages 6-18 struggle most with eating disorders.

Canadians think a significant source of blame lies with media pressures to have the "perfect body" driving individuals to develop eating disorders. Most (91%) `agree' (43% strongly/48% somewhat) with this position, while just one in ten (9%) `disagree' (2% strongly/7% somewhat) that media pressures are to blame.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between November 18 and 21, 2014 on behalf of National Eating Disorder Information Centre, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network. For this survey, a sample of 1,005 Canadians from Ipsos' Canadian online panel was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll is accurate to within +/ 3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, had all Canadian adults been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Sean Simpson
Vice President
Ipsos Reid
Public Affairs
(416) 572-4474
sean.simpson@ipsos.com

About Ipsos Reid

Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 86 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across six research specializations: advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of e1,712,4 million (2 274 M$) in 2013.

Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.

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