Male Eating Disorders 'On the Rise'
Eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia are typically associated with women but new research suggests that these disorders are becoming more prevalent in men. According to an article in Eating Disorders: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention, the number of men worldwide who suffer from eating disorders is on the rise.
Dr Ted Weltzin, medical director of eating disorder services at Rogers Memorial Hospital in Wisconsin, believes that this can be at least in part attributed to the fact that men, just like women, increasingly feel the need to match a certain body image ideal.
"There’s a lot more pressure these days for guys to have a cut body than there used to be in the past," he noted.
According to the Psychiatric Times, about 10 percent of anorexia and bulimia patients are males, and these illnesses are particularly apparent in men from adolescence to young adulthood.
While female sufferers aim for an extremely thin ideal and can be identified by their emaciated frames, males with the same disease target an extremely muscular and defined shape. This can be in an effort to have the right shape for a certain sport, such as swimming or gymnastics, but it might also be in order to achieve what they perceive to be the masculine ideal.
Among the warning signs to look for is the excessive use of supplements; because they are so common, many people forget that they can create side effects related to weight gain or weight loss, such as water retention, dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea.
Male eating disorders are often not as easily to spot as in females, but there are certain signs to look out for, whether you're a man who is concerned about their diet and exercise habits or have a friend or family member who you are worried about.Continued on the next page