Men’s Health Information and Resource Centre

Butterfly Foundation: Men and Eating Disorders

logo The most common perception of eating disorders is that they only affect women. In fact, around 10% of cases of eating disorders are in males and there are several factors behind a rise in recorded cases.

"Up to 15% of cases of Bulimia are recorded in males..."
There is relatively little exposure for the issue of eating disorders in men but The Butterfly Foundation reports that around 10% of diagnosed eating disorders are in males and that men and women suffer from similar rates of eating disorders. Resources available at The Butterfly Foundation provide some insights into the background factors that can lead to eating disorders, with a close relationship to other mental health issues.

Key Facts

  • There is often a history of obesity in men who present with eating disorders
  • Men tend to develop eating disorders at an older age than women
  • Men who participate in sport at an elite level can show a greater degree of disordered eating
  • Men are more likely to control their weight through exercise than restricting their intake of food


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