By Tim Jimenez

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Many seem to think eating disorders are problems younger people face. A new study by the International Journal of Eating Disorders, however, says it’s affecting older women as well.

The study says 13% of women ages 50 and older are struggling with symptoms of eating disorders, some for the first time in their lives.

Drexel Professor of Psychology Dr. Michael Lowe says society’s projections of perfection affects everyone.

“To equate their self-worth with their physical appearance. And we have a lot less control over what we look like than the marketers and Madison Avenue would have you believe.”

This is the first time a study of this kind looks at older women. Dr. Lowe says it’s important because eating disorders are often under treated.

“Brings out into the open how these are not only serious problems but apparently problems that can occur almost throughout the lifespan (of a person).”

Dr. Lowe adds that this new study is also important because it lets people know anyone in their families could be suffering in silence.

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