Eating disorders are very common among the older women, according to a new report.
Researchers from the University of North Carolina have discovered that eating disorders- anorexia and bulimia - are very common among older women, especially those who are above 50 years.
Researchers found that over 60 percent of women feel that their weight has major impact on their life because of the eating disorder.
Earlier, researchers believed that eating disorders are commonly seen as an issue faced by teenagers and young women, but a new study reveals that age is no barrier to disordered eating.
"The bottom line is that eating disorders and weight and shape concerns don't discriminate on the basis of age," Cynthia Bulik, researcher at the University Of North Carolina School Of Medicine, in a statement.
The researchers found out the tendency while studying eating habits of 1,849 US women who were the participants of the Gender and Body Image Study (GABI) by the University of North Carolina.
The survey was titled Body Image in Women 50 and Over - Tell Us What You Think and Feel.
"We know very little about how women aged 50 and above feel about their bodies," said Bulik.
"An unfortunate assumption is that they 'grow out of' body dissatisfaction and eating disorders, but no one has really bothered to ask. Since most research focuses on younger women our goal was to capture the concerns of women in this age range to inform future research and service planning," she added.
The study revealed that 27 percent of the participants were obese, 29 percent were overweight, 42 percent were normal weight and 2 percent were underweight.
The results showed that nearly eight percent of women reported purging in the last five years and 3.5 percent reported binge eating in the last month. These behaviors were most prevalent in women in their early 50s, but also occurred in women over 75.
"Health care providers should remain alert for eating disorder symptoms and weight and shape concerns that may adversely influence women's physical and psychological wellbeing as they mature," Bulik concluded.