Eating Disorders in Males-#EatingDisordersItsNotJustAWhiteGirlThing

Penn State Kicker, Joey Julius recently went public with his Eating Disorder. Julius spoke on his diagnosis of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) with purging behaviors and bulimic tendencies. It is public figures, like Joey, that can be an inspiration, and voice for females and males around the country who are living with Eating Disorders. You can read Joey’s story here.

For today’s post, we are getting “a bit clinical” and tearing down those misperceptions and false assumptions about Eating Disorders.

So many individuals believe that an Eating Disorders (ED) is “just a white girl thing”, that ED is just about women wanting to be a certain size, that it about women who eat too many salads, its about rich girls who don’t appreciate what they have, it is just a thing that the spoiled, white, rich girl deals with….this list of misperceptions goes on and on and on….

The truth is that males live with Eating Disorders too, it IS NOT JUST A WHITE GIRL DISORDER!! Here are some truths behind those false assumptions when it comes to males and Eating Disorders, according to current peer reviewed, clinical research and the Diagnostic Statistic Manual volume 5 (DSM-5)

  1. Males represent 25% of individuals with Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and 36% of individuals with Binge Eating Disorder (BED).
  2. Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rates for any psychiatric disorder
  3. Approximately .3% of men within the US have Anorexia Nervosa
  4. Approximately .5% of men within the US have Bulimia Nervosa
  5. Approximately .2% of men within the US have Binge Eating Disorder
  6. In the US alone, 20 million females and 10 million males will suffer from a clinical Eating Disorder within the span of their lifetime.
  7. Clinical Eating Disorder behaviors, such as binge eating, purging, laxative abuse, and dietary restriction for weight loss, are just as common among males as they are among females.
  8. Eating Disorders are rapidly growing among male athletes, whether that be adolescent, high school, college of professional level.
  9. In a controlled study at 11 different Division 1 Schools, results showed that 13.02% of males reported Bing Eating on a regular basis, and 2.04% of males reported purging behaviors on a regular basis, such as vomiting, and laxative use.
  10. The prevalence of Eating Disorders in males is greater than estimated due to the stigma that males receive when seeking treatment, for what is misunderstood as a “white women’s disorder”
  11. Approximately 33% of teenage males use restrictive behaviors to lose weight

It is so important to get the facts straight when it comes to ED. The more we bring light to the truths behind Eating Disorders, the more we tear down that stigma, which will provide a safer space for ALL individuals, whether that be female, male, white, black, Asian, heterosexual, homosexual, to step forward and seek treatment and start their journey towards recovery!

Stigma, and those common incorrect assumptions about Eating Disorders majorly affect individual’s ability and desire to seek treatment, causing for higher rates in mortality for individuals with Eating Disorders. So lets talk about it, without shame, it’s time we created a safe space for all individual’s, including men, to open up about their struggles, and give them a chance to move towards recovery!

Below are some resources available for males living with Eating Disorders.

NAMED

Eating Disorder Hope

NEDA

ANRED

 

References

Allen, K. L., Byrne, S. M., & Crosby, R. D. (2015). Distinguishing Between Risk Factors for Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Purging Disorder. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 44(8), 1580–1591. https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org.tcsedsystem.idm.oclc.org/10.1007/s10964-014-0186-8

Statistics on Eating Disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating. (2016). Retrieved October 12, 2016, from https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/statistics-studies

Ten Facts about Males and Eating Disorders | N.A.M.E.D. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://namedinc.org/?page_id=287

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