Research Study on Mature Women and Eating Disorders
January 6, 2016 – Pekin Illinois
Historically, eating disorder research has always been about teens and young women, but a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders shows 13% of women ages 50 and older struggle with this problem and that 62% of those surveyed say their weight or shape has a negative impact on their lives.
There are 53 million women in the USA older than age 50. Cynthia Bulik, director of the eating disorders program at the University of North Carolina warns that the disorders have serious physical as well as emotional consequences.
Weight issues can impact life negatively. In this study, weight or shape affected self-perception in as many as 79%, 41% checked their body daily, and 36% spent at least half of their time in the last five years dieting. According to the author, these behaviors and attitudes put women at higher risk for full-blown eating disorders. Women with binge eating disorder battle feelings about food that are mixed with fear, anger, anxiety, loss or shame. As the binge eating cycle’s progress, her emotions become so complicated that she can’t even understand why she continues to binge. She faces an uphill battle as she seeks understanding in her relationship with food.
“I have been in the eating disorders field since 1987 and it has been a dream of mine to open a center in Central Illinois to serve women who suffer with eating disorders and other issues that interrupt and disrupt their lives,” says Bonnie Harken NCLC, Founder and CEO of Crossroads Programs for Women in Pekin. “Since opening Crossroads in 2013, we offer intensive outpatient programs facilitated by a nationally known eating disorder expert, Mary Bellofatto, MA, LMHC, NCC, CEDS, TEP, F.iaedp, and Kellie Branch-Dircks, LCSW. Life and Recovery Coaching programs facilitated by Bonnie Harken, NCLC are also regularly offered in group and individual formats.
“America’s healthcare system has changed and the need for cost effective, intensely focused treatment has never been more important. There are many facilities that offer expensive long term inpatient treatment, but our four and five day treatment programs are unique. The philosophy of our approach is to provide programs by prominent clinicians offering focused and innovative care solutions.”