Eating Disorders Defy Age Groups
A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders erases the stigma that eating disorders are restricted to a particular set of age group. Eating disorders like Anorexia and Bulimia and other petrifying eating disorders are mostly found in teens, this new study claims that even the middle-aged women suffer from eating disorders just as much as the younger generation.
Researchers surveyed more than 1,800 women over the age of 50 in order to assess how pervasive eating disorders are in the older population. They found that 62 percent reported that their weight interferes with their lives, 70 percent said they were dieting or trying to lose weight, and 8 percent admitted to purging.
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"The disorders have serious physical as well as emotional consequences. Part of my goal is to make this an issue all doctors need to be aware of regardless of a women's age. Many think eating disorders end at age 25. They exist at every age, we're finding. Societal pressure forces the women to try to look younger than they actually are. More than 7 percent of women use diet pills or get into excessive exercise and 2 percent use laxatives in an attempt to lose weight." says lead author Cindy Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina.
This new study although is based on a relatively small sample of self-selected volunteers, it provides groundwork for future research about weight issues and eating disorders in older women.