Men and Eating Disorders






Males with Eating Disorders


About seven million women across the country suffer from eating disorders including anorexia nervosa and bulimia and, as a result most research involving these disorders have only been conducted on females. However, as many as a million men may also suffer from these same disorders. Women are not the only people prone to disliking what they see when they look into the mirror. Now a days more men are worried about their body shape. Clinical reports tell us that one in ten men suffer from eating disorders. More attention needs to be paid to mens eating habits.

What eating disorders do men and boys get?
Just like girls and women, males get anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervous. Many males describe themselves as compulsive eaters, and they have binge eating disorder.

Anorexia nervosa means a nervous loss of appetite. Symptoms are a refusal to maintain body weight or an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. An inability to perceive one’s body weight or shape correctly, (Scientific American, http://wwwsciam.com.exploration/1998/033298eating/anorexia.html).

An increasingly amount of men are seeking treatment. Just as women with this disorder are often involved in ballet and modeling, males suffer often from wrestling, running or practice similar sports that place a great deal of emphasis on dieting.

Bulimia nervosa means to binge eat and the get it out of your system by means of purging. Symptoms are recurrent episodes of binge eating and purging to prevent weight gain. (Scientific American).
Men are also seeking treatment for Bulimia. Women in ballet and modeling are also prone to this disorder. Most men in wrestling are affected with this disease instead of anorexia because they find it easier to hide. They can eat all they want in public but then the go get rid of it in privacy.

How many males have these disorders?
Perhaps as many as one in six cases of anorexia nervosa occur in males, (ANRED http://www.anred.com). Binge eating disorder seems to occur almost equally in males and females, although males are not as likely to feel guilty or anxious after a binge as women do. It is difficult to known exactly how many males have bulimia. Some researchers believe about 15% of all cases of this disorder occurs in men. Clinics and counselors see many more females than males, but that may be because males are reluctant to confess what has become known as a “teenage girl’s problem.” My health professionals do not expect to see eating disorders in men and may therefore misdiagnose them.

Are the risk factors any different for males than they are for females?
Risk factors for males include the following: They were overweight as children. They have been dieting. Dieting is one of the most powerful eating disorder triggers for both males and females, (ANRED). They participate in a sport that demands thinness. Runners and jockeys are at a higher risk than football players and weight lifters. Wrestlers who try to shed pounds quickly before a match so they can compete in a lower weight category seem to be at high risk. Body builders are at risk if they deplete body fat fluid reserves to achieve high definition. They have job or profession that demands thinness like models and actors. So males are members of the gay community where men are judged on physical appearance. Male patients are usually more active, have more sexual anxiety, have fewer bulimic episodes, with less vomiting or laxative abuse, and have a more preoccupation with food and weight.

Differences in disorders between males and females.
Males often begin and eating disorder at older ages then females do, and they more often have history of obesity or are overweight. Men are also made up to be strong and powerful, to build their bodies and make them large so they can compete successfully, and defend and protect, their skinny female companion. When women are asked what they would do with one wish, they almost always want to lose weight. Men asked the same question want money, power, sex, and a successful lifestyle. They usually think their bodies are fine the way they are. If they do have body concerns, they often want to bulk up and become larger and more muscular, not tiny like women do. Males usually equate thinness with