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Male Eating Disorders - Do Boys and Men Get Eating Disorders?

Posted Nov 12 2009 12:00am

It is still surprising to me the degree to which eating disorders are considered solely a female issue.

Yes, most cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are in females, but to consider eating disorders a "female issue" is to deny appropriate attention (and in some cases access to treatment!) to tens of thousands, and upward, of males.

So, I begin today a series of posts about male eating disorders. Over time, I also plan to post future Blog entries about other populations that are uniquely underserved and overlooked when it comes to eating disorders treatment...

Interesting fact: anorexia nervosa has been reported in male patients dating back to the seventeenth century, when London physician Richard Morton reported the first two documented cases of
anorexia in 1694. One of his patients was a 16-year-old male.

Today, approximately 10–15% of those diagnosed with anorexia and bulimia are male; however, that number is fast on the rise. And here's an interesting question, when it comes to binge eating disorder, what is the percentage of reported cases in males?

A full fifty percent!

In fact, one of the fastest growing eating disorders patient populations of the past decade is adolescent boys. And experts say that that therapists are seeing 50% more men for evaluation and treatment of eating disorders than just 10 years ago.

So stay tuned for more posts about male eating disorders...

In the meantime, I recommend this resource on the topic: Making Weight: Men’s Conflicts with Food, Weight, Shape and Appearance , by Arnold Anderson, Leigh Cohn, and Thomas Holbrook.

Click here for another source that you might find helpful; a case study review about male eating disorders.

And for additional information, you can check out my book "100 Questions and Answers About Anorexia Nervosa" as well!

If you have a question or topic you would like to see addressed in this Blog, go to , or e-mail , or send your question via Twitter to

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