Friday, January 4, 2013

Women of all ages battle eating disorders

By Carolyn Hodges Chaffee
Owner and CEO
Upstate New York Eating Disorder Service

Dr. Margo Maine
Contrary to popular belief, young women aren’t the only people struggling with eating disorders – the Upstate New York Eating Disorder Service treats men and women of all ages .
Dr. Margo Maine, an internationally recognized eating disorder expert and author, talked specifically about the impact of eating disorders on one patient population – women over 21 years old – during her keynote address at the 13th Annual Erin Leah Robarge Memorial Seminar, “No More Shame: Embracing The Body You Never Thought You Could Love,” on Dec. 7 in Corning.
Dr. Maine, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating eating disorder patients, cited the latest research on older women and eating disorders, which included some startling figures:
• In 2003, one-third of inpatient admissions to a specialized treatment center for eating disorders were over 30 years old.
• Body image dissatisfaction in midlife has increased dramatically, more than doubling from 25 percent in 1972 to 56 percent in 1997.
• About 75 percent of American women from 25 to 45 years old report disordered eating and body image dissatisfaction, and 67 percent were trying to lose weight, although more than half of these dieters were already at a normal weight.
• When asked what bothered them most about their bodies, a group of women from 61 to 92 years old identified weight as their greatest concern.
To read more about what Dr. Maine said at the seminar, sign up for a free email copy of our next Food For Thought newsletter, which will be published later this winter. To receive the free newsletter, call (607) 732-5646 or (877) 765-7866, or send email to
The seminar, which looked at the role of personal shame in triggering and fueling eating disorders, was sponsored by the Upstate New York Eating Disorder Service, ClearPath Healing Arts Center in Corning, and Ophelia’s Place in Liverpool, N.Y.