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Can Eating Disorders Happen To Men?

Jun 8, 2008
Eating disorders are liable to be considered "women's disorders." In our society, men are not allowable to show the weakness of having mental health disorders, much less suffer from eating disorders. In view of the fact that men and eating disorders is a problem, they virtually always keep this a painful secret. According to the National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders, men comprise about one million Americans who are ill with from eating disorders.

When the problem of men and eating disorders comes up, and the men do see their doctors for help, physicians will take a detailed medical history. They more often than not discover that the disorder began to appear as teen-agers. An adolescent peer group can be incredibly emotionally harsh; "fat boys" are made fun of and isolated from others. The social pressure to be thin is overwhelming in the midst of today's teens.

Men and eating disorders describe both anorexic and bulimic behavior as adolescents. On top to starving themselves, they play sports and exercise greatly just as teen-age girls and grown women do. "Boys don't get fat" unenlightened pediatricians tell mothers. "He's just got some baby fat that will get away on its own." But it doesn't, and trouble eating isn't supposed to happen in men.

Do Men and Eating Disorders Boast the Same Symptoms as Women?

Yes, but with one exceptionally important difference. People of either gender can develop an eating disorder, and they remain their eating behavior secret. Men and eating disorders is a topic which sort of ties that knot of secrecy even tighter. As adults, they are nearly always morbidly obese. They don't socialize with others, in particular women. They hardly ever date or get married.

Eating disorders, in the midst of either gender, aren't a matter of conceit; wanting to fit into a smaller pair of jeans. In truth, eating disorders don't really have anything to do with food! What drives men with eating disorders is a must to be in control of something, anything. They don't do well expressing emotions, are perfectionists, and don't tolerate themselves to be less than perfect and have an extremely seated self-loathing. The one thing men can at all times control is the amount of food they permit themselves to eat. The bathroom scale becomes their worldly enemy.

More Possible Causes

Some researchers have lately found that genetic factors may be the reason why a probable more than half of the population may develop the risk of contracting anorexic nervosa and more studies on the genetics of bulimia in addition to binge eating are ongoing.

Another cause of eating disorder may be personality of the person which is at least partially genetically determined and there are a number of personality types like the obsessive-compulsive or sensitive-avoidant who are additionally at risk of having an eating disorder, than are other people.

There is also one more point worth considering when judgment about the cause of eating disorder and that is that hormones that are produced when a person is stressed aid to form fat cells. In particular, in Western civilizations where life is competitive, quick paced as well as challenging and full of stress there may be a connection between this type of modern lifestyle and the increased instances of overeating.

A lot of people join an eating disorder and the media for the way those suffering are portrayed in the press. With the fashion industry apparently pushing for smaller and skinnier models and the press portraying them as something out of the ordinary, there is plenty of responsibility for an eating disorder and the media can be partially responsible.

In Spain, the country recently placed a bare minimum weight on models, recognizing that serious health problems can increase from anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. Spain's legislators claimed many of the models were torment from an eating disorder and the media was helping push that unhealthy trend.

Whether other countries will go after Spain's lead will depend on how the fashion industry reacts to charges of pushing the satisfactoriness of an eating disorder and the media's reaction to the latest stand. The largest problem, however, is the models suffering a disease denial to admit they have a problem.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit Nighttime Eating Disorder to learn more about complusive eating disorder and bulimia eating disorder.
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