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Eating Disorders Affecting Women in Midlife

By April Durrett on Jun 30, 2003

Did you know that experts are noticing an increase in eating disorders among middle-aged and older people? The Remuda Ranch, a treatment center for females with eating disorders in Phoenix is seeing more middle-aged and senior women with such problems for the first time. The center gives the following reasons for the rise in eating disorders among this age group:

  • a dramatic increase in youth consciousness compared
    to 20 years ago
  • role models, such as celebrities, who are aging slowly
    or seem not to be aging due to cosmetic surgery
  • obsession with thinness and difficulty losing weight

Other reasons may include life transitions such as the death of a parent, friend, sibling or child; divorce; empty nest syndrome; or menopause and other signs of aging such as graying hair or weight gain.

Eating disorders can also affect the elderly. When an elderly person gets an eating disorder it’s much more likely to be fatal since the body is less resilient and general health is not at its optimum level.

It’s helpful to know professionals who specialize in the treatment of eating disorders in case you work with women—at any age—who have these disorders and want to refer them to a qualified specialist.


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