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Eating Disorders Increase in Middle Age Women

Posted Oct 20 2008 9:37am
A few minutes ago, I came across an article post on that was discussing new research out of Australia saying that there is a dramatic increase in eating disorders for 30, 40, and 50 year old women.

In the Sydney Herald, one writer claimed that middle-aged women were developing eating disorders in an attempt to emulate celebrities like Madonna, and here's my 2 cents.

Madonna just had a couple of concerts here in Boston last week, and I was blown away by how good she looked on stage.

I definitely think the celebrity driven image ideal is associated with a rise of eating disorders in older women.

Another thought is that the older women of today are actually the first generation of obsessed dieters from the 1980's.

In the 1980's aerobics classes, lifting weights at the gym, and fad diets took off like rockets. The teenagers and 30 year old dieters of the 80's are the 40-60 years olds of today.

Just like the baby boomers created a wave in every industry, they are likely creating a wave of eating disorders also.

Unfortunately, a shift in our attitudes towards health and body image started many years ago, which leads me to believe that future generations of middle-aged women will be plauged by the same plight.

But, let me also say this... just as there has been a development of extreme over-consciousness regarding diet and exercise in a small minority, there has also been an extreme unconsciousness and apathy towards health in the majority. Which portends that there will be much more suffering from obesity related disorders for todays teenagers as they approach middle age in the next 20-30 years.

To all the ladies out there who are struggling with body image, let me tell you that I think all women are beautiful. And, I think that losing weight should be a matter of health first, beauty second.

Do your best to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical health because they are all related.

Yours in Health,
Dr. Charles
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