Males and Eating Disorders

When you think of eating disorders, several things may pop into your mind. Most often, people think about anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, and they think that it is a problem that affects females. However, there are males that suffer from the same problems. While in lesser numbers, the problem that these men face is just as significant. In this article, well examine the problem posed when it comes to males and eating disorders.

Growing Problem

While in the past, eating disorders were not common amongst men, the numbers are definitely on the increase. A few decades ago, the general consensus was that approximately one in sixteen eating disorder sufferers were males. Today, studies have shown that one out of every five anorexia sufferers is a male, and one in every nine to twelve bulimia suffers is a male as well.

While the disorders are basically the same amongst the sexes, there are some differences when it comes to the risk factors for men. Most often, men who are suffering from anorexia are bulimia begin doing so at a later age than females. Also, men are more likely to suffer an eating disorder due to the fact that they were overweight when they were younger.

Athletic Connection

Another risk factor that can affect a males likelihood to get an eating disorder is the participation in sports that demand a thin body. Those who are involved in wrestling and other sports that rely on weight rankings are particularly susceptible to resulting to drastic means to cut weight.

Also, jobs that males take on that require a certain degree of fitness and a thin physique can result in eating disorders. Homosexual males can be at a particular risk for an eating disorder as well.

One of the most tragic issues when it comes to males facing eating disorders is that many feel too ashamed of their problem to speak to a doctor or a counselor. All sufferers of eating disorders are unlikely to solve their problems on their own, and the use of an outside source of help such as a counselor is often required to make a full recovery. Since the problem is psychologically based and not simply the result of bad decisions, many who try to stop their eating disorder without fully understanding it tend to relapse.


Untreated eating disorders can cause the body to waste away, leaving the bones and muscles to deteriorate to a morbid degree. The heart can also be affected when extreme weight loss from an eating disorder is present; the results can be deadly. To that end, if you or someone you know is a male facing an eating disorder, counseling should be arranged.

While bulimia and anorexia are problems that are thought to be not present in males, the statistics show that it simply is not true. Proper medical treatment is the best chance that one has of recovery when it comes to eating disorders, and it is highly recommended as the problem may be too difficult to handle on your own.