Eating Disorders:Not Only A Woman’s Problem

What types of eating disorders do males have?

Males can have all three of the common eating disorders. These include: anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. Anorexia treatment centers, bulimia clinics, and eating disorder residential programs are offered for these disorders.

For the most part, eating disorders are labeled a female problem, but according to research done, approximately one million men across the nation struggle with eating disorders. Men are often overlooked in this area and due to gender bias are less likely to be identified as anorexic or bulimic, despite similar behaviors.

Risk Factors

The following are the most common risk factors associated with male eating disorders:

  • Certain occupations: models, actors and athletes who participate in wresting, dancing, swimming, rowing or running
  • Weight as a child, previously overweight children face a higher risk
  • Families who emphasize fitness, perfectionism and have high expectations
  • Chronic dieters
  • Homosexual males
  • Media’s influence in each culture
  • Traumatic events


Anorexia Nervosa – characterized by extreme weight loss due to starvation. There are numerous anorexia nervosa treatment centers across the country, each seeking the best for their patients.

  • Distorted body image
  • Frequent weighing of one’s self
  • Depression
  • Perfectionism
  • Thinning hair
  • Fatigue, weakness in muscles
  • Low body weight
  • Fear of becoming fat or of gaining weight
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Food rituals

Bulimia Nervosa – characterized by a cycle of binging and purging. Bulimia clinics are available for those struggling with this disorder.

  • Misuse of laxatives or diuretics
  • Extreme exercising
  • Distorted body image
  • Esophageal tears
  • Perfectionism
  • Edema
  • Loneliness
  • Fluctuating weight
  • Hoarding food

Compulsive Overeating – characterized by compulsive, uncontrolled eating to the point of extreme fullness.

  • Hiding food, eating alone
  • Poor self image
  • Difficulties with expressing emotions
  • Eating until to the point of extreme fullness
  • Fatigue
  • Poor blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Irritability
  • Binge eating
  • Fluctuating weight

Complications of eating disorders can be very dangerous. Due to the presence and potentially fatal consequences of these disorders, eating disorder treatment clinics across the country are available.