For the media

4 things you may not know about eating disorders

By The Health News Team | February 26, 2020
Tape measure, fork and knife

Research and rising trends have proven that eating disorders can affect people of all ages and genders, and for reasons beyond peer and environmental pressures.

In observance of National Eating Disorders Week, here are four things you may not know about these conditions:

1. Males are just as susceptible.

Societal pressure to be physically perfect is not just a female issue. Men and boys are
bombarded with images of being "cut and buff" or "lean and fit." This can result in men and boys feeling dissatisfied with their own appearance and chasing an "ideal body" with unhealthy habits and behaviors.

2. Eating disorders are on the rise in women over 50.

Anxiety over aging, divorce, loss of career, children leaving home and increased familial responsibilities can all be factors behind advanced-age eating disorders.

3. Transgender people are four times more likely to have symptoms.

Striving to meet the ideal body standards of their identified gender may increase the likelihood of a trans individual developing an eating disorder, though it is not true for all.

4. Genes play a role.

It was previously thought that some eating disorders were personal choices or caused by outside influences; however, experts have established that eating disorders are 50 to 60% inheritable.

Talk to your doctor if you or a loved one is concerned about behaviors related to food. Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital offers specialized eating disorder treatment programs.

For the news media: To talk to an expert about eating disorders for an upcoming story, contact Erica Carlson, senior public relations specialist, at

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