Middle-aged women are being pressured into eating disorders, says academic

'Pressures on middle-aged women are increasing at home and in the workplace' says professor

Pressures on middle-aged women are huge, says professor

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The relentless pressures on middle-aged women in the workplace and at home are driving them to eating disorders, according to a revered professor of psychology. 

Research from University College London has suggested that 3% of women in their 40s and 50s have an eating problem. In comparison only about 1 in 100 women aged between 15 and 30, the age group often described as being most vulnerable to diseases such as anorexia and bulimia, are said to have such a disorder. 

Sir Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at the University of Texas, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that pressures on women are large as they may be going through "divorce, financial difficulties or losing a mother." Whilst men have these problems too, they are more likely to turn to alcohol or smoking. 

There's also the added pressure that women are "working in male-dominated environments" or working at the same time as having "young kids under five," he added. 

"Society is saying to women you have to look attractive," Cooper said, but this can also be used against them in the workplace, as it could appear they got a good job because they look great.

Listen to the full interview above