Unhealthy Eating Practices in Women Over 50

Eating disorders, a condition typically associated with young women, may be more prevalent among older women, according to research from the University of North Carolina. Researchers evaluated 1,800 U.S. women who took part in the Gender and Body Image Study. Among the female subjects over the age of 50, about 27 percent were obese, 29 percent were overweight, 42 percent were normal weight, and 2 percent were underweight. The study found that about 4 percent of the women binge eat, about 8 percent purge, and 70 percent diet to lose weight. In addition, 36 percent spent at least half of their time in the last five years dieting, 41 percent check their body size daily, and 40 percent weigh themselves at least twice a week. Strikingly, 62 percent said body weight negatively impacts their life, 79 percent report it affects their self-image, and 64 percent think about their weight daily. 

Source: International Journal of Eating Disorders, June 2012

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