New figures show that there has been a shocking rise in the number of men who are suffering with eating disorders and it appears as though ‘righteous eating’ could be what’s fuelling the problem. This is one of the lesser known conditions that can lead to orthorexia nervosa which is a fixation on food quality and purity.
It’s thought that this very obsession with food quality and its purity has contributed to a staggering 27% increase in the number of men suffering with disorders such as anorexia or bulimia and a whopping 66% rise in the number of men being admitted to hospital because of it.
Doctors say that there is an emerging endemic of men who are becoming infatuated with healthy eating and obtaining the ‘perfect’ physique. They’re becoming obsessed with what and how much they’re eating and how to reverse the effects of any slip-ups.
Another disorder plaguing men is something called bigorexia - often dubbed the Adonis complex. This causes a person to constantly worry about being too small, underweight or underdeveloped and can lead to sufferers spending hours in the gym in a bid to bulk up.
Senior lecturer in Nutritional Sciences, Haleh Moravej has commented on how men are under just as much pressure as women are these days to have the perfect body. He continued:
“There seems to be a silent epidemic with males suffering with all kinds of eating disorders. Around 10% of all eating disorders which come to the attention of mental health professionals are male. The numbers could actually be much higher however because some male patients don’t seek any help from professionals.”
Due to the stigma surrounding eating disorders and how they only affect women, men often suffer in silence because they feel ashamed and don’t want to be labelled with a ‘female’ illness. The problem is however that in our modern world, men are just as much under pressure to have the ideal body image as women are.
The problem is made worse by the fact that many of the older eating disorder tests still have questions about menstruation in them. It is still common to see an online test which asks how many periods a person suffering from ED has missed. This only furthers the stigma around male eating disorders.
If you think that you could be suffering with an eating disorder, please feel free to visit our Eating Disorder Treatment page for more information about the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today for help.