Eating disorder is typically a term we throw around when referring to young girls or teens struggling with their weight and body image and resort to abusing food to solve the problem. But few people consider that eating disorders can affect more than just 18-year-old girls; they can affect middle-aged women, too.
A new study from the University of Carolina School of Medicine found that many women over the age of 50 struggle with the same issues as females half their age when it comes to body image and diet.
Researchers surveyed nearly 1,850 women concerning their diet and behavioral patterns in order to get a better idea of current and past eating disorder symptoms, body image struggles, and weight concerns in women 50 and older. With the study, researchers were hoping to better understand whether eating disorder symptoms in the past were associated with disordered eating behaviors and attitudes later in life.
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It’s so easy to overdo it during holiday events. Family gatherings often include obscene amounts of food in all their richest forms. It may be that you simply want to sample all the special dishes that you have not had since last year. It may be that it just doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving without the green bean casserole or it doesn’t feel like Christmas without the eggnog. It may be that you have eaten too many sweets and feel like something salty will help you feel better, or you catch yourself alternating between salty and sweet. It may be that you are mindlessly grazing on all the finger foods while catching up with family members. You may even be getting encouragement to eat more from well meaning family members. Any of those things and more can encourage you to eat too much.
For some the danger is simply eating more than intended or indulging in a food item that you have removed from your diet. When you are trying to lose weight, counting calories often becomes extremely important. When you are trying to get healthier, there are often certain foods that are best to avoid. Overindulging during the holidays can delay reaching our goals. For others the danger goes beyond simply over eating and could be considered a binge. While special foods are often part of the enjoyment of the holiday season, feeling uncomfortable from eating to much is never enjoyable.
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