Disordered eating is considered to be a problem only faced by women, but it is not. Men also suffer from disordered eating habits. In fact, the number of men with disordered eating is estimated to be over 10 million and that number continues to rise.
Males of any age can develop an eating disorder, but they are most likely to begin between the ages of 14 and 25. It is not unusual to develop an eating disorder later in life. This problem can be harder to spot, as many men with eating disorders tend to be overly focused on exercise and muscle definition. Men with eating disorders are also less likely to seek professional help than women.
Athletes and performers are especially at risk to acquire an eating disorder because of the pressures of maintaining a certain body type. Many men suffer from Muscular Dysmorphia, which is the belief that their muscular build is undersized and underdeveloped, while in reality their muscle tone is above average.
The belief that these disorders only affect women, along with the stereotypical belief that men should hide their problems and/or insecurities, demonstrate how serious and dangerous eating disorders in men can become.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an eating disorder, consult the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for resources, support, and help.
Written by David Parsons, Peer Educator