Males and Eating Disorders
While women are more commonly affected by eating disorders, millions of men and boys battle all forms of the illness. The information in this section is specific to men and boys, but you will find a host of terms and topics under General Information. We recommend you start there and then augment your learning with the subjects covered here.
A Silent Epidemic?
Click here to view an infographic that highlights contributing factors, health impacts and prevalence of eating disorders among males.
Anorexia Nervosa in Males
Anorexia Nervosa is a severe, life-threatening disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, and exhibits a significant distortion in the perception of the shape or size of his body, as well as dissatisfaction with his body shape and size. Learn more.
Binge Eating Disorder in Males
Binge eating disorder is a severe, life-threatening disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of compulsive overeating or binge eating. In binge eating disorder, the purging in an attempt to prevent weight gain that is characteristic of bulimia nervosa is absent. Learn more.
Bulimia Nervosa in Males
Bulimia nervosa is a severe, life-threatening disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting or other purging methods (e.g. laxatives, diuretics, excessive exercise, fasting) in an attempt to avoid weight gain. Learn more.
Enhancing Male Body Image
Recognize that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. There is no one "right" body size. Your body is not, and should not, be exactly like anyone else's. Try to see your body as a facet of your uniqueness and individuality. Learn more.
Research on Males and Eating Disorders
The DSM-5 estimates of the female-to-male ratios of eating disorders sufferers are 10:1 for anorexia nervosa; 10:1 for bulimia nervosa; and 2:1 for binge eating disorder. It is important to note that male eating disorders are often underreported, misdiagnosed or overlooked, so the male population affected may be larger than these ratios indicate. Learn more.
Strategies for Prevention and Early Intervention of Male Eating Disorders
Eating disorders do not discriminate on the basis of gender. Men can and do develop eating disorders. Learn more.