Origins of eating disorders are often debated. Currently the dual interaction between genetics and environment is accepted as the cause within the mental health community, although still debated. Treatment is oriented towards behavioral and cognitive modifications. Due to the growing number of disorders emerging during midlife, some new treatment centers have started to orient their services towards 30-and-older crowds.
It seems like providing the distinction will help better address the needs of those affected. While the issues and treatments may be similar regardless of age, the attitudes among the patients may not be. Middle aged women with eating disorders tend to self-initiate treatment more often than their younger counterparts, which may reflect a different outlook in patients.