Eating disorders can affect older women, not just teenagers, from Harvard Women’s Health Watch

Eating disorders are usually associated with teenage girls and young women, but more and more women in the baby boomer generation are suffering from them as well. Clinicians who treat eating disorders report an upswing in requests for help from these women, and surveys show a steady increase in the percentage of older people who engage in disordered eating behaviors such as strict fasting, purging, and bingeing, reports Harvard Women's Health Watch.

Many things can cause disordered eating at midlife and beyond, including grief over the loss of loved ones, marital difficulties or divorce, and heightened awareness of an aging body, which can be particularly acute in women who must work beyond retirement age, especially in fields where looks are important.

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