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Eating disorders in men: update

The Journal of Men s Health & Gender
Mary Ann Liebert
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/j.jmhg.2005.04.008
  • Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia
  • Bulimia
  • Males
  • Treatment
  • Outcome
  • Medicine
  • Psychology


Abstract Men with anorexia and bulimia nervosa account for 10% of people with this condition and for binge eating disorder they account for as many as 25%. Risk factors in men include athletics, sexuality, psychiatric co-morbidity and negative life experiences. Differences in eating disorders exist between men and women relating to behavior and psychological symptoms. Men are much more likely than women to underestimate body size and desire a more muscular body. Men are less likely than women to engage in typical compensatory behaviors such as vomiting and more likely to engage in activities such as excessive exercise to attempt to lose weight or counteract the effects of eating. Men are more likely than women to binge rather than restrict due to negative body image. Studies show that men with eating disorders are less likely to seek treatment than women are. Obstacles to treatment include cultural biases toward eating disorders because they are considered to be female disorders, a lack of trained professionals and a lack of treatment setting that specifically deals with male eating disorders patients. Finally, even with little research to guide treatment of eating disorders, the outcome seems to be similar for men and women.

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