Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eating Disorders Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Eating Disorders in Women Over 50

Survey Shows Women in Their 50s Binge, Purge, and Diet Nearly as Often as Adolescents
By
WebMD Health News

June 21, 2012 -- Eating disorders don't just strike teens. A new survey shows that middle-aged women binge, purge, and engage in extreme exercise and dieting about as often as adolescents do.

"Strikingly, things are as bad in this age group as they are in the younger age groups. I was sort of gobsmacked that 8% reported purging in the last five years," says researcher Cynthia M. Bulik, PhD, director of the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program, in Chapel Hill.

Additionally, Bulik says, 3.5% of women older than 50 reported binge eating within the last month, a percentage that is "spot on for the younger population."

Sixty-two percent of the nearly 1,900 women who participated in the Internet-based survey said their weight or shape negatively impacted their life. "That's really sad," Bulik says.

Experts who were not involved in the research said the study is valuable because it supports earlier work suggesting that eating disorders are a problem across the lifespan.

"Very little work has been conducted to understand eating pathology in older women who may have unique needs in relation to developing and maintaining a healthy body image and healthy approach to weight regulation," Pamela Keel, PhD, a professor and clinical psychologist who specializes in treating eating disorders at Florida State University in Tallahassee, says in an email to WebMD.

The study is published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

neon EAT sign
Slideshow
u turn road sign
Article
 
man sitting at table with fork
Article
Bulimia Nervosa Symptoms
Article
 

Bulimia Nervosa Treatment Overview
Article
collage of junk food
Slideshow
 
Teen sitting at table with empty plate
Article
Girls Eating Disorders
Article