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Uncovering the hidden story of male eating disorders

Eating disorders
Ian Peate looks at the underreported phenomenon of eating disorders in male patients

Eating disorders can have a destructive effect on individuals, families and communities, they affect males and females, they are not gender specific. They are however, most commonly associated with women. The causes, effects and treatment are similar for both genders, but often such conditions can be more difficult to recognise in males. As a result of this, men are likely to receive inadequate or inappropriate treatment.

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Men and boys with eating disorders are currently and have been under-diagnosed, they are undertreated and many clinicians who encounter them, often misunderstand them. Males with eating disorders and body image issues have great stigma to conquer and as a result, they have been significantly neglected in the making of a diagnosis and the provision of treatment. The availability of evidence-based treatment for males far too often falls short of the successful management of gender specific problems.

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