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Older Women Do Not Escape Eating Disorders Associated With Teenagers, Young Adults

June 21, 2012: 12:00 AM EST
A U.S. study of older women – average age 59 – finds that aging does not prevent or ward off eating disorders. Among women over 50, 3.5 percent report binge eating, eight percent report purging, and more than 70 percent are trying to lose weight. Sixty-two percent of women said their weight or shape negatively affected their life. More than a quarter of the participants – 92 percent of whom were white – were obese, 29 percent were overweight, 42 percent were normal weight and two percent were underweight. The researchers urged healthcare providers to “remain alert for eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns” that could harm the physical and psychological wellbeing of aging women.
Danielle A. Gagne et al., "Eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns in a large web-based convenience sample of women ages 50 and above", International Journal of Eating Disorders, June 21, 2012, © Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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