More light is being shed on the actual rates of men who suffer from eating disorders. The news is not good. A new study claims that the amount of men struggling with an eating disorder is currently rising.Recent results from a national study of eating disorders conducted by Harvard have shown that when viewing a population of 3,000 adults twenty-five percent suffered from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia and forty percent suffered from binge eating. Some may be surprised to learn that these figures are for men. The numbers for male eating disorders were previously thought to be much lower than the results generated from this study. It was thought that the percentage of men suffering from anorexia or bulimia was as low as ten percent.
Bulimia itself is a disorder which is characterised by excessive eating followed by either vomiting or the usage of laxatives in order to keep control of weight gain. Anorexia is the refusal and sometimes the inability to eat anything in order to maintain a normal weight. Binge eating is different in that, as the name suggests, it is a condition that is characterised by gorging on large amounts of food but not purging afterwards. The biggest increase in males can be found in the rates of binge eating.
Out of the three conditions binge eating is considered the least life threatening and unlike the other two is not recognised as a psychiatric disorder. Yet this does not mean it should be taken lightly. Society is less likely to associate men with eating disorders and many people when encountering a thin male will often assume them to be fit and healthy. Perhaps because of the stigma attached to these types of disorders fewer men are coming forward for treatment.
Lack of openness and discussion around the topic of male eating disorders is thought to be cultural as women are far more likely to talk about issues they are experiencing that are of a personal nature as compared to men. Men who are fanatical about keeping fit are also thought to be at risk as evidence shows that excessive exercising and eating disorders are often linked. Anorexics tend to be perfectionists and are generally high achievers who have an inbuilt desire to be in control of everything including their body.