Are Eating Disorders Age-Related?

Adults & Eating Disorders

The idea that only teen girls and college students develop eating disorders is a common misconception. In truth, men and women of all ages suffer from these types of disorders. Older women and men are an age group that is frequently overlooked in regards to eating disorders, but one that should be equally addressed. In the case of adults with eating disorders, eating disorder treatment at an eating disorder residential center may be helpful.

Eating disorders are most common in women, although they can take place in men as well. Women are more at risk for eating disorders because of the pressure they experience to stay attractive looking and thin throughout life. Many adults with eating disorders have had these disorders since they were in their teens. Some people have even recovered from their disorder but then suffered relapse in adulthood.

Who are These Adults?

Adults with eating disorders may be in their 30s, 40s, and 50s. People of an older age may experience eating disorders as well, although this is much less common. These adults may fall into the following categories:

  • Mothers & fathers
  • Those who have experienced trauma
  • Divorced adults
  • Survivors of disease
  • Business men and women
  • Parents whose children have finally left home
  • Husbands & wives
  • Pregnant women
  • Widows and widowers

What Causes Eating Disorders in Adults?

Complications that may cause eating disorder-like behavior include:

  • Memory problems
  • Specific medication
  • Perfectionist behavior
  • Unknown disease
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Lack of money
  • Poor dental health
  • Drug or alcohol use

According to research, genetic predisposition toward an eating disorder may lead some people to develop conditions like anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and bulimia nervosa. If you or your loved one suffers from one of these eating disorders, it may be helpful to seek out specific binge eating, bulimia, or anorexia treatment at one of the many eating disorder treatment centers. Hereditary traits however, are not the only factors contributing to such problems.

Growing up in a home where appearance and one’s diet are greatly focused upon, especially to the point of an eating disorder in which eating disorder treatment must be sought out, can negatively influence children. In serious cases, children of parent’s with eating disorders need to attend specialized bulimia programs, anorexia treatment facilities, and binge eating help centers.

Recognizing Eating Disorders in Adults

What are a few popular signs of eating disorders in adults?

  • Obsession over food
  • Laxative and diuretic use
  • Over-exercising
  • Missing certain meals
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Mood swings
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Eating alone
  • Obsession with perfection
  • Avoidance of usual activities

If you think your loved one suffers from an eating disorder, lovingly approach them about eating disorder treatment at an eating disorder residential center. A younger sufferer of eating disorders may be much easier to convince to attend eating disorder treatment than an older adult, especially if the person does not recognize that they have a problem.


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