Older Women Increasingly Seek Treatment for Eating Disorders
> 7/23/2007 1:38:15 PM

The face of women seeking treatment for eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia is rapidly changing. Experts now report that many women in their 30 's, 40's and even 50's are seeking help for disorders that are predominently thought of as problems that apply only to younger women.

At the Renfrew Center, a foundation aimed at education, prevention, research and treatment for all eating disorders, the age of the average patient seeking treatment has seen a spike. The center reports that in 2005, 20% of patients seeking help for an eating disorder were 30 years or older. In 2006, that number was 13%. Another center, the Park Nicollet Health Services' Eating Disorders Institute had nearly four times as many women over 38 turn up for treatment this year as they had in 2003.

Speaking with USA Today, director of the outpatient programs at Renfrew, Holly Grishkat, said that of the patients over 30, each woman almost always falls into one of three categories. The first was the category of women who suffered with eating disorders in the past and left it untreated. The second were women who suffered with eating disorders that went into remission and resurfaced due to common life changes and stress. The smallest category consisted of women whose disorders emerged relatively late in their lives. Statistics released by Renfrew reveal that in 2005 of the patients over 30, almost 60% of them had reported suffering from an eating disorder during their youth. In addition, about 20% reported that the disorder was a recent development.

It appears that the overall number of women affected by eating disorders may not be rising so much as women are remaining symptomatic longer and increasingly seeking treatment when they might not have in the past. Many experts believe that older women have more stress in their lives than younger women. Older women often must deal with the stress brought on by divorce, aging parents, and work, at a much higher level than younger women. This can lead to a situation wherein symtoms can reemerge after years of relative dormancy, while some have postulated that many women in "mid-life" reflect on their body image after having children and believe it's time for them to take steps in "turning back the clock" but then go too far.

Referring to the percentage of older patients seeking treatment for the disorder, Holly Grishkat told USA Today:

"It's not a lost cause at 30, 40, 50 years old (to seek treatment). You can still get better. In some sense, the older women do better in recovery than younger women. They tend to be more motivated.�

What the statistics really reveal is that at any age, body consciousness can become an issue for women. Age is not a factor, and the shame and embarrassment associated with the disorder should dissolve so there can be a unifying treatment strategy to keep women and men on track to a healty life.


Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.
buy viagra
generic cialis, viagra, levitra
buy viagra
buy levitra
buy cialis
Posted by: Loretta 2/26/2008 8:08:32 AM

Post Your Comments

Post a comment
Email Address:
Verification Code:
Input the 8 characters you see above:


Drug Abuse
Sexual Addiction
Eating Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease

About TOL | Contact Us | Defining Behavioral Fitness | For Healthcare Professionals | Links | Privacy Policy