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Mid-Life Wrinkles and an Eating Disorder?

It’s true. Our dirty little secret is out. Eating disorders are just for college students anymore.

According to a recent article in Ladies’ Home Journal, there are few hard statistics on the age distribution of the estimated 5 to 10 million female Americans who suffer from some form of eating disorder, experts attest to a startling rise among midlife women. Says one clinic, "We've seen a fourfold increase in the percentage of our 40-and-over patient population since we opened in 1990, and a threefold increase in women over 50.” (Note: women in this age group are more likely to have medical insurance than younger ones, and therefore have greater access to treatment.)

Some stresses that may increase your likelihood of developing (or relapsing) include:
• Relationship problems
• Divorce
• Parenting troubles
• Death of a parent
• Career difficulties
• Financial strain
• Empty-nest syndrome
• Emotional and physiological changes brought on by menopause
• Fears associated with aging
• Desires to look younger and slimmer than your age may allow

Research suggests that about 79 percent of the deaths related to anorexia occur in women over the age of 49. I didn’t start my eating disorder until 35.
Could this be someone you know?