Do Males Develop Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are conditions expressed through abnormal eating habits. They often begin with an obsession of some sort, over food, body weight or body shape, for instance. Most include the severe restriction of food, food binges or inappropriate purging behaviors like vomiting or over-exercising.
If you or someone you love has an eating disorder, we can help. Have a confidential conversation with a counselor right now. Call (888) 837-6577.
Do males develop eating disorders?
Until recently, eating disorders were typically viewed as a female issue. Not anymore. Today, anorexia, bulimia, and especially binge-eating disorder are on the rise among men. Anorexia is now diagnosed in boys as young as eight and as many as 40% of those with binge-eating disorders are male.
While a specific cause is not known, social factors may contribute. Where the need to be physically perfect was once exclusively directed at girls, today boys are feeling similar pressure to be fit and masculine. This pressure has figured into males adopting unhealthy eating and related lifestyle patterns.
By the Numbers …
Despite the stereotype that eating disorders only occur in women, statistics reveal that almost one-in-three people struggling with an eating disorder is male, and that eating disordered behaviors like binge eating, purging, laxative abuse, and fasting for weight loss are nearly as common among men as they are among women.
In the United States alone, eating disorders will affect 10 million males at some point in their lives. But due in large part to cultural bias, they are much less likely to seek treatment for their eating disorder. Males tend to feel added stigma, in that they’re battling a disorder often thought of as feminine or a cry for attention. Additionally, assessments typically are geared to women and girls and have led to misconceptions about the nature of eating disorders in men.
The good news is that once a man finds help, they show similar responses to treatment as women.
The Right Treatment for You
If you are a man battling an eating disorder, or if you’re reading this post because a man you love is battling an eating disorder, the first thing to consider is that treatment is not one-size-fits-all. A gender-sensitive approach with recognition of different needs and dynamics for males is critical in effective treatment.
At Honey Lake Clinic, our experienced staff, licensed therapists, psychologists, and psychiatrists understand that effective treatment for eating disorders requires a multifaceted, faith-based approach, involving healing of the body, mind, and spirit. Our unique treatment programs specifically and deeply address all three spheres, offering each client his or her greatest chance at wholeness and transformative growth.
This holistic approach and a combination of key factors makes the mental health program at Honey Lake Clinic different from the others in the country.
You’ll benefit from Honey Lake’s—
- Integration of a Bible-based approach and sound psychological principles
- Experienced, compassionate, and highly trained clinical staff
- Individualized treatment with a low caseload of patients per therapist
- Practical curriculum focused on decision-making mechanics and skills
- Emphasis on holistic healing of the mind, body, and spirit