Eating disorders (EDs) comprise a variety of symptoms and have a profound impact on everyday life. They are associated with high morbidity and mortality. The objective of this study was to analyse published data on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in EDs so as to compare the results to general population norm data and to investigate potential differences between ED diagnostic groups. A systematic review of the current literature was conducted using a keyword-based search in PubMed and PsychInfo. The search covered anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS) and binge eating disorder (BED) and used the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) as a measure of HRQoL. Of the 102 citations identified, 85 abstracts were reviewed and seven studies were included in the meta-analysis. AN patients were included in five studies (n=227), BN in four studies (n=216), EDNOS in two studies (n=166) and BED in four studies (n=148). We tested for between-study variation and significant differences between the diagnostic groups. The results confirmed a significantly lower level of HRQoL in all EDs compared to a population mean. It was not possible to establish any differences between the diagnostic groups.