More Men, Older Women Suffering Eating Disorders

Caroline Miller on Fox News

Caroline speaks with Dr. Manny Ramirez of Fox Online about some of the changes in the eating disorder world since she wrote “My Name is Caroline,” and how more men and older women are being diagnosed. Caroline also discusses why Positive Psychology would be a helpful adjunct to the recovery and treatment world.


More than 30 million Americans are currently struggling with an eating disorder, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Caroline Adams Miller, who has written several books about her struggles with bulimia, spoke to Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing editor at, about the prevalence of eating disorders across the country – and some shocking new trends.

Eating disorders, which affect approximately 20 million women and 10 million men in the U.S., have become more common among older women in recent years, according to Miller.

“It’s always been a lot of adolescent women, but now 25 percent of college-aged women are thought to have eating disorders,” Miller said. “The really new startling statistic is that women my age, middle-aged women, are clogging eating disorder centers now, seeking help in unprecedented numbers.”

Furthermore, Miller, author of “My Name is Caroline” and “Positively Caroline,” said the number of men suffering from eating disorders has also increased.

“Boys are really suffering in greater numbers,” Miller said, noting that social media may be partially responsible.

“I think it clearly contributes,” Miller said. “One of the most interesting things that’s happened in terms of male images of body perfection that has changed is now the ideal is more masculine and it’s a very unhealthy masculine…I liken it to what women have had to live up to forever, which is this crazy Barbie doll ideal.”

Miller advocates positive psychology, as a way to help treat eating disorders, and said that it helped her overcome her struggle with bulimia.

“If we begin to help people focus on their strengths, focus on emotional flourishing as opposed to dealing with weakness and identifying it, if we help them set the right kinds of goals – intrinsic goals as opposed to extrinsic goals, which so many of us suffered with, I think you’ll begin to see that the science of happiness has a very valid place at the table for helping to treat eating disorders,” Miller said. “And I’d love to see the field begin to look harder at that area.”

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Caroline Adams Miller

Caroline Adams Miller, MAPP is a pioneer with her ground-breaking work in the areas of goal-setting/accomplishment, grit, happiness and success. Caroline is the author of eight books, including Positively CarolineMy Name is Caroline,  Creating Your Best Life and Getting Grit. Live Happy Magazine named Creating Your Best Life one of the top ten goal-setting books ever published and Getting Grit one of the ten books that will change your life in 2017.  Her new book, Big Goals, is anticipated for release in the fall of 2024.  Caroline has been featured in BBC World NewsThe New York TimesThe Washington Post, USA Today, U.S. News &World Report, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR and CNN.  She is a graduate of Harvard University and holds a Master’s degree in Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

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