How are boys and men with eating disorders affected?
While women and girls are much more likely to develop an eating disorder, men and boys account for an estimated 5 to 15 percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder. In addition, eating disorders are also common among: older adult women, African-Americans, victims of sexual abuse and male & female athletes who are involved in sports with weight classes.
One in four preadolescent cases of anorexia occurs in boys and binge eating disorder affects females and males equally. Like females who have eating disorders, males with the illness have a warped sense of body image and often have muscle dysmorphia – a type of disorder that is characterized by an extreme concern with becoming more muscular. Some boys with the disorder want to lose weight, while others want to gain weight or “bulk up” Boys who think they are too small are at a greater risk for using steroids or other dangerous drugs to increase muscle mass.
Boys with eating disorders exhibit the same types of emotional, physical and behavioral signs and symptoms as girls. However, boys are less likely to be diagnosed with what is often considered a stereotypically “female” disorder.