Recent Research Shatters Beliefs about Eating Disorders
Eating disorders affect every age group. Although many people associate eating disorders with teens, baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) are at risk as well.
The following story based on research from the International Journal of Eating Disorders recently appeared in Food and Nutrition:
It has only been in the past few years that eating disorder
research has included the baby boomer population. The results of these recent studies shatter the belief that eating disorders only afflict the young and reveal that boomers have eating disorders at the same rate as teenagers — nearly 4 percent. And an additional 13 percent of boomers partake in at least one core eating disorder behavior such as binge eating, self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise or laxative abuse.
Some boomers harbor eating disorders nearly their entire lives. Others experience a midlife relapse of a dormant disorder and still others develop eating disorders for the first time in middle age. Late-onset eating disorders are often triggered by stress and baby boomers face many life changes associated with stress: divorce, empty nest syndrome, financial pressures, aging parents, illness and more. Boomers whose parents lived through the Great Depression, the Holocaust or other times of instability may have been raised to associate food with love, security or even punishment.
The lead author of the study was quoted in article in USA today:
“The disorders have serious physical as well as emotional consequences,” says lead author Cindy Bulik, Director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina. “Part of my goal is to make this an issue all doctors need to be aware of regardless of a women’s age. Many think eating disorders end at age 25. They exist at every age, we’re finding.”
Dr. Lynda Brogdon, Director and founder of Canopy Cove Eating Disorder Treatment Center, said, “The research is not surprising to us. For over 20 years we’ve treated adult women of all ages who have been impacted by an eating disorder. There is no age group that is unaffected. Often women will have taken an online assessment and will contact us for guidance. Other times, they will be experiencing medical complications such as bone loss, or hair loss, which will serve as a catalyst for them seeking guidance.”
She continues, “It’s very rewarding to watch these women establish a life free from their eating disorder and to be able to look forward to life with a new-found positive attitude.”
Research shows that the longer a woman has had an eating disorder the higher her risk is for major health consequences. Contact an Eating Disorder specialist today for an evaluation if you believe you may be suffering from an eating disorder.
Learn More – Call 800-236-7524.
Canopy Cove’s Christian Based Eating Disorder Treatment Programs offer compassionate, comprehensive treatment for females, males, adolescents, and adults, who are struggling with Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorders and Co-Existing Diabetes, Depression, and Anxiety. Equine-Assisted Therapy is an weekly part of the Recovery process at Canopy Cove.