Food issues aren’t just for the young, according to a new study that found middle-aged and elderly women struggle at nearly the same rate.
Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia aren’t just for teenage girls. A new study shows that body image issues and disordered eating continue well into middle age and beyond.
We have been so trained to look for this issue in young women (and even young men) that we may be blind to eating disorders in older adults. But these body image problems aren’t something everyone simply grows out of. For many women, the constant struggle continues.
A new online study shows that out of 1,849 women whose ages ranged from 50 to 85, about 13 percent reported bingeing, purging and other symptoms of serious eating disorders. Many also said they used diet pills or excessive exercise to control their weight, according to MSNBC’s Today: Health.
The study also found that approximately 70 percent of women in their middle and older years were currently trying to lose weight, with more than a third who said they were on diets for at least half of the past five years. About 3.5 percent of the women in the study admitted binge-eating and about 8 percent said they had purged to lose weight in the last five years. Those figures line up very closely with behavior found in younger women.
Does all this focus on weight at least result in more fit, trim women? Not necessarily. Despite all that effort, 56 percent of those responding to the survey were overweight or obese and nearly 60 percent said that their weight or shape had a negative impact on their lives. Many said it was the most important thing that affects how they feel about themselves.
The study will appears in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
Eating Disorder Help at The Canyon
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