Anorexia Is Hitting Older Women
By Jeanie Lerche Davis
Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD
This isn't about any teenager: Wives, new mothers, professional women, and empty nesters are developing eating disorders.
Women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s are showing signs of anorexia or bulimia. The problem often begins so subtly that neither she nor her family realizes what's happening, experts say. Yet the problem can be life-threatening.
With anorexia, the disorder may begin quite simply with a diet. Bulimia involves binging and purging, either through vomiting or laxatives -- with getting thin as the goal.
The women are often living productive lives and want to fight midlife weight gain. Or there may be an emotional crisis that triggers it. Depression springs from a divorce, a death, a child who has left home. Her self-esteem may be suffering. She may feel lonely.
Typically, it's fueled by concerns about body image and weight -- every woman's struggle to live up to society's standard.