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Shocking Statistics – Eating Disorders on the Rise in Women Over 30

I posted on the GetBusyThriving Facebook page after reading a recent Oprah article that reported a rise in eating disorders in women over the age of 35.

That shocking statistic prompted my curiosity because I feel in my heart there are a LOT of women who contacting me that aren’t your typical teenager or even twenty-something.

I feel there is this not-talked-about [massive] group of women who are struggling to overcome bulimia who don’t look like your daughter or little sister.

I’m contacted every week by women in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s who’ve been suffering in silence for decades – like 40 years some of them.  They have kids, husbands, families, big job and busy lives.  Inside they’re hiding a lot of pain and shame from everyone around them.
What I want to do is share a few of the statistics I’ve come upon, but the ONLY reason I’m sharing these shocking statistics is to grab your attention.  I’m hoping a little shock value is worth sharing if just one of you will wake up and take action to turn your life around and get help for bulimia (or anorexia).

Eating Disorder Statistics

I’ve misplaced some of the sources I found these stats, so I apologize if you are interested and want more details (I’m sure you can Google eating disorder statistics and find even more info than I’m reporting here).

Just outside of Minneapolis, Park Nicollet Health Services’ Eating Disorders Institute saw 43 patients age 38 in 2003about 9% of total patients. From January – June 2007 the institute treated nearly 500 patients over the age of 38, about 35% of its total patients.

“Whatever this is — if it’s an increased awareness, if it’s a response to being in midlife — those numbers are staggering,” said Carol Tappen, director of operations for the Eating Disorders Institute. Of Renfrew’s patients over age 30 in 2005, about 60 percent first suffered from an eating disorder of 18 or younger. Nearly 20 percent said they were 30 or older when they first encountered the problem.

While body image is an issue for any age group, women over 30 are dealing with problems that teens don’t have, such as work, divorce, stepchildren and aging parents.

“It’s not about wanting to be the cheerleader or being the homecoming queen,” said Tappen. “It’s much bigger than that.”

These women are dealing with an aging process, or childbirth, that changes the way they look physically.

“One day, (a woman) wakes up and the kids are gone and she has a sense that nobody really needs her. She looks in the mirror and she says, ‘My body is shot,”’ said Tappen. “This woman says, ‘You know, that’s it. I’m going on a diet.”’

The National Eating Disorders Association reports a 42-percent increase of middle-aged women with eating disorders from 2001 to 2010.

Since 1999 hospitalizations involving eating disorders increased among all age groups. The greatest increases occurred among those 45 to 65 years of age (an 88% increase link).

Please, if you’re suffering with bulimia or anorexia take action! You can find great resources to get you started on my Getting Started Page.


I believe within 90 days you could be bulimia free.

Yes – it can happen that quickly.

You’ve just got to let go of what’s holding you back – fear.

You’ve got to step outside of your comfort zone and go for what you want – happiness.

“because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion”