According to the National Eating Disorder Association, 1/3 of inpatient hospital admissions for specialized eating disorder treatment in 2003 were people 30 years of age or older. It is commonly thought that eating disorders and body image disturbance occur primarily in adolescent and young adult women, which is simply untrue. The average age of a client receiving treatment at The Center for Balanced Living in Columbus, Ohio is 38 years old.
- Eating disorders and body image disturbance are pervasive across the lifespan and body image dissatisfaction during midlife doubled from 1972 to 1997
- Midlife precipitating events include financial stress/unemployment/retirement, “empty nest” or “bounce back” children, infidelity, illness, perimenopause (under-studied biological factor), death of a loved one and trauma.