Male Eating Disorders -
Usually men suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa; however there are also cases of Binge Eating Disorder among men who describe themselves as compulsive eaters.
Facts and Figures -
In today's date, the number of males suffering from eating disorders is increasing. Researches show that twenty years ago, for every 10-15 women with anorexia/bulimia, 1 man suffered while the today for every 4 females, 1 male and for every 8-11 females, 1 male suffer from Anorexia and Bulimia respectively. Binge Eating Disorder found equally in men and women, however, men feel less guilty and anxious after a binge.
More women are reported to be suffering from the disorder because lesser men confess of suffering from the disorder and even under diagnose may also be the reason.
Differences and similarities - In men and women suffering the disorder -
The disorder is usually seen at older ages among males. Usually instances of overweight / obesity are seen among males and underweight, malnourishment is seen among females. The reason for the same being that women are usually encouraged to be thin and in shape, to be able to handle both home and work fronts, also enabling them to attract friends and romantic partners, while men are expected to be strong, build their bodies and be more competitive, to earn acquire power and wealth, and defend and protect females.
Risk Factors among male patients -
Men in professions that demand being thin and being in shape like the models, actors and entertainers are at a higher risk compared to others. Males of gay community are at higher risk as they are judged by their physical attractiveness like the females in a heterosexual community. Men in show business and models doing advertisements for skin and hair care products are expected to look perfect to create an impression on the general population undergo weight loss and workout programs and so are at a higher risk level.
How can men be treated? -
As eating disorders have always been described as usually suffered by females, men are hesitant admitting that they too suffer from the same. And since most of the treatment programs are designed for females keeping in mind their physical and psychological problems and socio-cultural issues, there is a need to design a different treatment programs.
A two step program can be adopted in the treatment process - A physician would be needed to identify the physical problems contributing to or resulting from the disorder, while psychiatrist would help identifying problem areas related to the disorder.
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