Women over 50 experience eating disorders

22 June 2012

Eating disorders that are more commonly associated with teenage girls and young women have been found to be evident in women over the age of 50 as well, new research has suggested.

Researchers discovered that women in this demographic suffer from eating disorders, with 3.5 per cent admitting to binge eating, eight per cent revealing they "purged" food from their bodies and a whopping 70 per cent engaged in some form of weight loss effort.

"We know very little about how women aged 50 and above feel about their bodies," stated Dr Cynthia Bulik, director of the University of California Eating Disorders Programme.

"An unfortunate assumption is that they 'grow out of' body dissatisfaction and eating disorders, but no one has really bothered to ask."

One of the reasons the research was undertaken was because most studies on this issue focus on younger women, so the goal was to "capture the concerns" of women over the age of 50 to help "inform future research and service planning".

A total of 1,849 women across the US took part in the fascinating Gender and Body Image study, which was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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