This is Rosemary Pope. She died last month at the age of 49 because her anorexia caused her heart to shrink "to the size of a child's." Pope is not alone: as has been previously and recently reported, anorexia in women over 40 is on the rise. There are a number of theories as to why the number of grown up anorexics is going up. First off, many of these women suffered from anorexia as teens and twenty-somethings and never really recovered. Another possible reason is a growing awareness of the disease which causes more women to self-diagnose their eating disorder. Yet another reason, posits the Guardian, is "the increased pressure on older women to stay young. Surrounded by images of women such as Madonna, Teri Hatcher and Jane Fonda (who has admitted to suffering an eating disorder herself), women are exposed to increasingly unrealistic images of how they should look as they age and are working harder than ever to counter the effects of getting old."
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