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STUDY: Women Over 50 Suffer From Eating Disorders

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Tim Jimenez Tim Jimenez
Tim Jimenez is a general assignment reporter at KYW Newsradio...
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By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study by the International Journal of Eating Disorders says 13 percent of women 50 and older are struggling with eating disorders. KYW’s Tim Jimenez spoke with a local expert.

Previous studies report a lower risk for eating disorders as women mature, but this new study is the first of its kind, studying women 50 and older. Drexel Professor of Psychology Dr. Michael Lowe says that age group is key.

“The women studied were all over 50 and that means that most or all of them were post-menopausal and that is one event in a woman’s life that is certainly associated with weight gain.”

Dr. Lowe explains that this may lead to a negative effect on self-esteem, especially in a society that emphasizes perfection through being skinny. He goes on to say, this new study is important because it lets people know anyone in their families could be suffering in silence.

“Eating disorders have long been known to be the most secretive psychiatric disorder and so it can potentially be going on right under our noses.”

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