Body & Mind: Not Just for Kids

Why anorexia and bulimia are on the rise in women confronting their midlife years

Psychiatrist Ann Kearney-Cooke has been treating eating disorders for 23 years. About 10 years ago, the therapist, who is based in Cincinnati, Ohio, began to notice a disturbing new trend: the average age of her patients kept getting older. "We traditionally think of anorexia and bulimia as affecting those of college or high school age, and that was the case 20 years ago," she says. "Now about half my patients are women in midlife."

She's not the only one seeing that trend. In Philadelphia the Renfrew Center Foundation, which specializes in treating eating disorders, reported a 25% jump in patients older...

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