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Eating Disorder Symptoms Evident in Women Over 50

Last Updated: June 21, 2012.

For women aged 50 years and older there is wide endorsement of weight and shape concerns and of eating disorder symptoms, dieting, and body checking behaviors, according to a study published online June 21 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

THURSDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- For women aged 50 years and older there is wide endorsement of weight and shape concerns and of eating disorder symptoms, dieting, and body checking behaviors, according to a study published online June 21 in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.

Danielle A. Gagne, from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and colleagues conducted an online survey in a convenience sample of 1,849 women aged 50 years and older. Eating disorder symptoms and attitudes, and weight and shape concerns, were characterized.

The researchers found that there was wide endorsement of eating disorder symptoms, dieting, and body checking behaviors, as well as weight and shape concerns. Greater endorsement was seen for women in their early 50s and those with a higher body mass index.

"The bottom line is that eating disorders and weight and shape concerns don't discriminate on the basis of age," a coauthor said in a statement. "Health care providers should remain alert for eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns that may adversely influence women's physical and psychological well-being as they mature."

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