The perception that eating disorders are only women's issues, and lack of information or education may cause medical professionals to overlook or misdiagnose eating disorders. Male sufferers may not recognise the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, therefore the number of males affected by these issues may be underestimated.
Eating disorders affect both males and females and are mental illnesses that can potentially be life threatening if not treated. Although eating disorders can develop at any age, males are most commonly at risk of Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa in their late teens to early twenties.
Those most at risk of developing body dissatisfaction are male athletes, in particular those involved with sports that place great importance on weight classes and aesthetic ideals, for example weight lifters, gymnasts and body builders. Common risk factors for males include:
- childhood obesity
- sociocultural influences that increase vulnerability to developing an eating disorder, for example the perception that men should only have one body type; lean and muscular.
The National Eating Disorders Collaboration website has useful fact sheets and info graphics to raise awareness and increase evidence-based practice.
- Eating Disorders in Males -72 KB
Fact sheet on men and eating disorders.
- Guys Get Eating Disorders Too -316 KB (JPG)
Infographic displaying information about males and eating disorders.
National Eating Disorders Collaboration (NEDC)
Level 2, 103 Alexander Street
CROWS NEST , NSW 2065
AustraliaTelephone: +61 2 9412 4499