Although experts agree that eating disorders are an epidemic of teens and 20-somethings, recent evidence will not allow them to ignore the increasing number of anorexia and bulimia patients in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even 60s.
For example, in 2003, patients over 38 years old made up nine percent of the Park Nicollet Health Services’ Eating Disorders Institute’s treated visitors. In 2007, patients over 38 made up a notably increased 35 percent.
Some experts believe it’s more than just a response to midlife. With so many over-40 celebrities showing off bodies that even 18-year-olds would envy, the social pressure to be thin is greater than ever. Dieting alone doesn’t seem to be enough, so extreme weight-loss measures are taken by many women who have seen major changes in their bodies due to pregnancy and aging.
And because of these unfortunately increasing numbers, programs are being created to suit older anorexics. In 2009, the Eating Disorders Institute opened a facility with a treatment system aimed specifically at mature sufferers.
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