A disturbing new report has found that almost 1 million Australians are currently suffering from an eating disorder - well above previous estimates.
The Deloitte Access Economics report, commissioned by the non-profit Butterfly Foundation for Eating Disorders, looked at the economic and social impact of eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, obesity and binge-eating.
The report found that 913,000 people are living with an eating disorder - nearly two-thirds of them women.
That figure contrasts with the last official estimate of the problem, carried out in 2003 by the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare, which said the number of sufferers was 23,464.
That figure included only anorexia and bulimia, while the new study also considers binge eating disorder and another category dubbed "eating disorder not otherwise specified".
Read the full report here.
University of Canberra eating disorder specialist Dr Vivienne Lewis says the stereotyped view of eating disorders only affecting women and adolescents no longer holds true.
"It's not just your emaciated adolescent," she said.
"The eating disorders that we're most familiar with are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
"We often think of eating disorders as only occurring in adolescents or only occurring in females, and that's certainly not the case.
"This study actually looked at all ages and all genders, and certainly with the diagnosis of 'eating disorder not otherwise specified', that's when most males fit into that category - and people with binge eating disorder as well.
"So we're seeing a wider spectrum of eating disorder. It's not just your emaciated adolescent, it is looking at men and people who might be overweight and obese who have an eating disorder as well."
Christine Morgan from the Butterfly Foundation says the report highlights the need for better identification and care for people with eating disorders.
"This is a hidden illness which is impacting on far more people than others may think," she said.
The study found that mortality rates for people with eating disorders are twice that of the general population.
It says more than 1,800 people have died from eating disorders this year - a figure higher than last year's annual road toll.