Males and Eating Disorders
Males & Eating Disorders
Approximately 10% of eating disordered individuals coming to the attention of mental health professionals are male.
There is a broad consensus that eating disorders in males are clinically similar to, if not indistinguishable from, eating disorders in females.
Gymnasts, runners, body builders, rowers, wrestlers, jockeys, dancers, and swimmers are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders because their sports necessitate weight restriction. It is important to note that weight loss in an attempt to improve athletic success differs from an eating disorder when the central psychopathology is absent.
Males may be receiving increasing media messages regarding dieting, and ideal of muscularity, and plastic surgery options (such as a pectoral or calf implants.)
A disproportionate number of males with anorexia may have a persisting or preexisting problems in testosterone production.
Conflict over gender identity or over sexual orientation may precipitate the development of an eating disorder in many males. It may be that reducing their sexual drive through starvation, they can temporarily resolve their sexual conflicts.