Eating disorders affect older women too, study shows

It has often been associated with younger women: eating disorders.

But, researchers found that women over 50 are also subject to eating disorders. A report published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that nearly four percent of the women surveyed reported binge eating, eight percent reported purging and over 70 percent said they dieted to lose weight.

The study, led by Cynthia Bulik, director of the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program, surveyed over 1,800 American women, HealthDay reported.

"Everyone—especially health-care providers—needs to erase stereotypes about who experiences disordered eating. Women well into their 50s and beyond still report struggling with weight dissatisfaction and a palette of unhealthy behaviors aimed at weight control," Bulik said, according to HealthDay.

Of the women surveyed, around 27 percent were obese, 29 percent were overweight, 42 percent were normal weight and two percent were underweight, the study authors said.