A study by researchers at the University of Sydney has found that the eating disorder anorexia nervosa is on the rise in middle-aged women.
Stephen Touyz, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Sydney, said that most women were initially hesitant to talk about their disorder. Touyz examined women in London and Sydney and noted that eating disorders were common as women were under pressure to stay thin.
"People who fall into this particular category are not in treatment because they are too scared to seek help - because getting better means putting on weight," he said. "It's not that there are not enough people suffering it is that they continue to suffer in silence - in some cases for decades."
Christine Morgan, chief executive of the Butterfly Foundation, agreed with this assessment, "There is this misunderstanding that an eating disorder is something that occurs in adolescence and by the time you're in your 20s it's all behind you, but unfortunately this is not always the case."