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Eating Disorder In Men: What Every One Needs To Know

Update Date: Feb 28, 2017 09:30 AM EST

Eating disorders in men are on the rise. As people celebrate Eating Disorders Awareness Week, health experts are campaigning to support men who may be suffering from anorexia, bulimia or binge eating.

Women are commonly plagued by eating disorders. According to The Royal College of Psychiatrists, eating disorders are seven to ten times more common in women than in men. However, men diagnosed with eating disorders are on the rise.

The Joint Commissioning Panel for Mental Health estimates that there are more than 1.6 million people affected with eating disorder in United Kingdom in 2013. This figure is reported to be an under estimate as people who experiences symptoms of eating disorder do not go to doctor's clinic. This is especially true in the case of men with eating disorder.

Eating disorder is an abnormal attitude towards eating and food. It can later have a negative impact in the life of an individual. Men suffering from anorexia nervosa are obsessed in keeping their weight low. They are fearful of becoming fat and are usually preoccupied by thinness. Bulimia nervosa, on the other hand, is when men binge eat then take drastic steps to avoid weight gain like vomiting.

Binge eating is also an eating disorder that may affect men. He usually feels lack of control in eating but there is no compensatory behaviour such as vomiting.

Other eating disorder in men, though not officially recognized as a specific type, is body dysmorphic disorder and muscle dysmorphia. It is often called bigorexia and is characterized by a belief that his body is not muscular enough. Men with this kind of eating disorder have compulsive training or exercise which becomes the top priority in their life.

Symptoms of eating disorder include a body mass index of less than 17.5kg/m2, excessive use of laxatives, avoidance of food known to be fattening, tiredness and lethargy, anxiety and depression and feelings of guilt. Women and men with eating disorders have similar symptoms.

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