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Men and Eating Disorders –What You Need to Know

A statistic on the National Eating Disorder Association’s website said that 33% of adolescents use unhealthy weight control behaviors.  While outrageous as that sounds, it gets even more interesting when you read a little closer and see that the same 33% are adolescent males.  Taken down to simple numbers, it means thousands of young men are suffering from a disease that is unfortunately more closely associated with women. This misperception often means getting a diagnosis is much harder for boys and men, and that can delay getting eating disorder treatment.

If you suspect that you or the man in your life is battling an eating disorder, here are three things you need to know:

  1. Eating Disorders Are Not just for Girls. – Bulimia and anorexia nervosa don’t take into consideration your race, sex, or socioeconomic standing.  They do not discriminate, so, yes, males can and do suffer from eating disorders.  In fact, one in four individuals with an eating disorder is male.
  2. Eating Disorders Are a Real Illness – Eating disorders are both a medical and psychiatric illness.  Their effects can be devastating and deadly. They are not just about gaining or losing a few pounds; eating disorders are a complex medical condition, not a choice.
  3. Eating Disorders Need Professional Treatment – While your inclination as a man is to tough this out, you won’t be successful.  Combating eating disorders requires professional help. It’s important to note that, as a male, you’re not alone; you won’t be the only “boy” getting help.  From 2000 to 2013, treatment for men in eating disorder centers rose 35%.


At Rebecca’s House, we tailor a program for who you are and where you are, to get you on the road to recovery as soon as possible. We understand eating disorders and, for 20 years, have been providing compassionate support to both women and men.  Call us today at 1-800-711-2062 and take that first brave step.


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