Eating Disorders in Males Essay examples

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Eating Disorders in Males

Eating disorders are largely considered to be a "female disease". Statistics seem to validate this perception – of the estimated five million-plus adults in the United States who have an eating disorder, only ten percent are thought to be male ((1)). Many professionals, however, hold the opinion that these numbers are incorrect – it is impossible to base the statistics on anything other than the number of adults diagnosed with eating disorders, and men are much less likely than women to seek help for such a problem ((2)). This means that the male population probably suffers more from eating disorders than the numbers show.

The fact that the number of men who suffer from eating disorders is larger than
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Triggers for developing eating disorders have been found to be similar between the sexes: low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, difficulty coping with emotional and personal problems, and other existing psychological illnesses are common underlying factors in the development of disordered eating ((3)).

Aside from having the same basic influences, men usually develop the same kinds of eating disorders associated with women. Many people think that, given the muscular appearance of the male ideal, "male" eating disorders would be different from what are considered to be "female" eating disorders. The most common eating disorders in men, however, are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating (in which the person uncontrollably eats large quantities of food but does not purge after eating), which are also very common among women who have eating disorders ((1)). Like women, men who are involved in weight-conscious sports, such as wrestling, swimming and running, are more likely to develop eating disorders than those who do not participate in such activities ((3)). The only notable difference found between men and women with eating disorders thus far is that "while women who develop eating disorders feel fat before the onset of their disordered eating...typically they are near average weight. Men are more typically overweight medically before the development of the disorder" ((3)).

Given that most of the underlying psychological triggers for eating

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