The image that comes to mind when many people think of an “eating disorder” (ED) is a young female with anorexia or bulimia. But in reality, there is a vast spectrum of ED diagnoses, behaviors, body types, and people who “fit the bill.” The narrow view of the disease that prevails in our society can be extremely harmful, as it often results in a treatable disease going unnoticed.
Articles tagged with: Males
People often think "Eating disorders are a woman's disease." This myth is constantly reinforced by character portrayals on television, targeted advertisements, and even studies and articles that draw from exclusively female samples. The sad reality is that eating disorders affect any and all genders, and those who do not identify as female may even suffer more with the very diagnosis of their disease due to the stereotype that eating disorders are feminine. Therefore, although eating disorders affect each individual differently, it is important to consider one's gender identification in order to increase efficacy for prevention, detection, and treatment of the disease.
Many people still view eating disorders as an illness that exclusively affects women and girls. And it’s not hard to understand why. The media often perpetuates an image of people with eating disorders as white, upper-middle class females. But in reality, cross-cultural studies show that eating disorders impact people of all genders, ethnicities, ages and socioeconomic statuses.
It’s true. Eating disorders do not discriminate … males struggle too. Recent data shows that 1 in 33 adult males struggle with an eating disorder. That’s much higher than the 1 in 10 statistic that has been reported in past years. 1 in 33 is an eye-opening statistic.
In this short video, Dr. Jillian Lampert talks about this statistic and how eating disorders present in males.
If you think your son, husband, boyfriend, friend, loved one may have an eating disorder, gently talk to them about your concerns. And don’t forget about getting support for yourself too. Click here to see Dr. Lampert’s advice in “Ask Emily” My Boyfriend’s Habits are Concerning. This advice could be used for anyone in your life whom you are concerned about.
Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.
Males are historically underrepresented throughout the eating disorder field- as patients, treatment professionals, by diagnosis and prevalence, in research studies and in stories of recovery. 30 years ago men with eating disorders were virtually invisible and options for treatment were mostly non-existent. Fortunately, we are at a tipping point in our understanding of males and eating disorders. While major gaps still exist in our understanding, we are continuously learning more about males with ED.
According to the National Comorbidity Study (Hudson, 2007), lifetime prevalence in ED in men is:
Anorexia Nervosa- 0.3%
Bulimia Nervosa- 0.5%
Binge Eating Disorder- 2%
In this study, over 50% of men also had co-morbidities.
In a study by Striegel-Moore, et al in 2009, over 26% of men in the community had ED symptomatology.
The Emily Program is a warm and welcoming place, close to home and work, where individuals and their families can find comprehensive treatment for eating disorders and related issues.
We offer comprehensive psychological, nutritional, medical and psychiatric care at multiple locations across the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and Duluth. Treatment options range from periodic outpatient appointments to residential/inpatient care at the Anna Westin House.
We offer help with a variety of eating disorder, exercise and body image issues, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, compulsive overeating, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not otherwise specified.