The Changing Face of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are not as simple as many people seem to believe. These dangerous disorders are often brushed off as a “young women’s” problem, but those who struggle with disorders like anorexia and bulimia cannot be so simply categorized.
“The face of eating disorders today is any face: a young face, an old face, a white face, a black face. It’s no longer an adolescent or college-aged girls’ problem; it’s everybody’s problem,” Margo Maine, clinical psychologist and author of Pursuing Perfection: Eating Disorders, Body Myths, and Women at Midlife and Beyond tells The Inquirer.
In fact, since 1999 older patients have been the fastest growing group to look for eating disorder treatment at inpatient facilities. Over a quarter of the admissions were for women over 45.
Anndee Hochman recently explored why this particular group is suddenly becoming the new face of eating disorders for The Inquirer, and it may not be what you think. She argues the number of men and women struggling with eating disorders late in life isn’t actually growing. Instead, a growing number of confronting the stigma and shame that older people with eating disorders may feel.