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Men, boys and eating disorders: research and links

Men in an Eating Disorders Therapy Group: Creating a Physically and Emotionally Comfortable Space  Gurze-Salucore Eating Disorders Catalogue (July 31, 2017) by Jacob Pine – As those who work with people with eating disorders know, the landscape is changing in ways both positive and negative, exciting and troubling, and medically/therapeutically appropriate and terribly harmful, often at the same time. … Though there is an unfortunate absence of research into this issue, one anecdotal change has been the increase in men seeking therapeutic assistance for eating disorders, body dissatisfaction, compulsive exercising, weight gain/loss, and many other issues commonly thought of as being the purview of women … more

Males more likely to suffer psychologically when dissatisfied with their body image  MNT Medical News Today (July 8, 2016) – Society might lead us to believe body image concerns should be reserved for females but research published today from The University of Sydney has suggested that men are more likely to suffer psychologically when dissatisfied with their image. Dr Scott Griffiths, lead researcher, suggested that the phenomenon is a growing public health issue as the research found that men with body image issues are up to four times more likely than females to be undiagnosed. … more

What your father ate before you were born could influence your health   ScienceDaily (Dec 4, 2015) – There is increasing evidence that parents’ lifestyle and the environment they inhabit even long before they have children may influence the health of their offspring. A new study sheds light on how … Researchers in Associate Professor Romain Barrès’ laboratory compared sperm cells from 13 lean men and 10 obese men and discovered that the sperm cells in lean and obese men, respectively, possess different epigenetic marks that could alter the next generation’s appetite, as reported in the medical journal Cell Metabolism. …more

Bodybuilding supplement overuse ‘an eating disorder’ MNT-Medical News Today (Aug 7, 2015) – Among men who regularly work out, a desire toward looking lean and muscular leads some to use over-the-counter supplements to improve their chances of attaining their ideal image. Researchers assessing the use of these supplements now say that some men are using these supplements to such an extent that it qualifies as an eating disorder. … more

Study: Young men may have unrecognized eating disorders   NBC News (Nov 5, 2013) by Andrew M. Seaman, Reuters — Eating disorders are most often associated with young women, but a new study suggests young men can also become obsessed with their appearance and go to extremes to enhance their bodies.  The problem can resemble a traditional eating disorder or involve use of drugs and supplements, according to U.S. researchers, and it tends to go along with depression, binge drinking and recreational drugs.  Link

Binge eating more likely to lead to health risks in men  Science Daily (Sept 17, 2013) – Binge eating is a problem affecting both men and women, however obese men who binge are more likely than their female counterparts to have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, finds a new study in General Hospital Psychiatry. Link

What you need to know about men and eating disorders   Huffington Post (July 25, 2013) by Nina Bahadur  – Eating disorders aren’t just a “woman thing.” People of all gender identifications, ages, races and sexualities suffer from eating disorders and struggle with body image issues, but the majority of eating disorder research is conducted on young, white women. In the past decade or so, there has been increasing importance placed on understanding the impact these issues have on men. Here are six things you should know  Link

Sexually harassed men undergo extreme measures to control weight   Medical News Today (May 14, 2013) – Surprisingly, researchers at Michigan State University found that men who suffer from sexual harassment are more likely to try and control their weight with extreme measures like taking laxatives or vomiting, compared to women.  As one of the first studies of its kind to examine what kind of effect sexual harassment has on body image and eating behaviors in men and women, the study revealed some very interesting information.   Link

Male anorexia common but hidden   The Toronto Star (May 5, 2013) – Recent studies show about one male case for every three female cases, but few men or boys show up at clinics.  It’s a tight squeeze even now for the tattoo that’s emerging in outline down the length of Jay Walker’s thin but well-muscled arm, video-game-themed artwork on parchment-thin skin.   “People call me lean now,” admits Walker, who at six-foot-one weighs in at 165 pounds.  Three years ago, the fitness and health instructor was 35 pounds lighter, and suffering the hidden malady of male anorexia.  Link

More men suffering from eating disorders, says doctor   CBC News (Apr. 17, 2013) by Ryan Hicks – A leading eating disorder expert says growing research reveals men with eating disorders are more common than you may think.   Dr. Blake Woodside, medical director of the eating disorder program at Toronto General Hospital says his community study plus two others show males now make up one in three cases of anorexia and one in four cases of bulimia.   Link

Anorexia hitting men increasingly hard: One in three cases in new study is male   Postmedia News (Jan. 21, 2013) by Sharon Kirkey – Bulimia, anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders, long thought to be serious problems for many women, are showing up among surprisingly large numbers of men, some of whom are starving themselves or exercising obsessively to look like the pictures in men’s magazines.   Yet neither men themselves, nor most doctors, think of males as being at risk for these illnesses, experts say.   Link

Male mice exposed to chronic social stress have anxious female offspring   ScienceDaily (Aug. 22, 2012) — A study in mice conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine suggests that a woman’s risk of anxiety and dysfunctional social behavior may depend on the experiences of her parents, particularly fathers, when they were young.   The study, published online in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that stress caused by chronic social instability during youth contributes to epigenetic changes in sperm cells that can lead to psychiatric disorders in female offspring across multiple generations.   Link

Dieting companies now targeting men  cnn.com (Mar 23, 2012) by Emma Lacey-Bordeaux & Gavin Godfrey – Jeff Romig kept putting it off.  He knew the doctor would give him bad news. He’d known it for years; he needed to lose weight.  But as he sat in the doctor’s office a few weeks ago and listened to his numbers — cholesterol and blood pressure, both too high — he resolved to change. This time, he decided to do something different, something drastic.  After 10 years of talking about losing weight without much success, Romig decided to put his health and family first by leaving his high-pressure politics job.  Link

Israel bans underweight models in ads in bid to fight eating disorders  Associated Press (Mar. 20, 2010) by Diaa Hadid – A new Israeli law bans showing overly thin models from local advertising in an attempt to fight the spread of eating disorders.  It also requires publications to disclose when they use altered images of models to make the women and men appear even thinner than they really are.  Link

Walking can offset the tendency to become obese  Los Angeles Times (Mar. 14, 2012) by Shari Roan – So you have fat genes, huh? OK, but your genes aren’t your destiny. A new study shows that people who are genetically prone to obesity can offset that influence by half by walking briskly one hour a day.  The study, presented Wednesday at an American Heart Assn. conference in San Diego, looked at more than 7,700 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 4,500 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up study. Researchers looked at the participants’ activity levels, body mass index and their genetic predisposition to become obese (using a measure based on 32 genetic variants linked to obesity).   Link

More trans fat consumption linked to greater aggression, researchers find  ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2012) — Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have shown — by each of a range of measures, in men and women of all ages, in Caucasians and minorities — that consumption of dietary trans fatty acids (dTFAs) is associated with irritability and aggression.   Link

Boys dying to be thin: the new face of anorexia  nbc News (Feb 22, 2012) by Yardena Schwartz – Their stories may sound rare, but experts say cases like Avi Sinai, Victor Avon and TJ Warschefsky are growing more and more common. Far from the world of beauty magazines, pin-thin celebrities and runway models, anorexia is striking what many consider to be an unlikely group: boys and young men.   Link

Obesity rates stall, but no decline  New York Times: Well (Jan. 17, 2012) by Tara Parker-Pope – After two decades of steady increases, obesity rates in adults and children in the United States have remained largely unchanged during the past 12 years, a finding that suggests national efforts at promoting healthful eating and exercise are having little effect on the overweight… Although from a statistical standpoint, overall obesity rates haven’t changed in more than a decade, the latest analysis did detect some changes in the prevalence of obesity in certain groups. For instance, men and boys have become fatter since 1999, and so have non-Hispanic black and Mexican-American women. Although those trends were only recently detected in the data, there have been no significant increases in obesity prevalence since the 2003-4 survey.  Link

Binge eating a hidden problem among men   msnbc.com  (Oct. 31, 2011) by Linda Carroll – People tend to notice when women binge on food — men, not so much. And that may explain why many people think that binge eating is just a women’s eating disorder.  But men are almost as likely as women to lose control in the presence of food and to suffer ill health because of their bingeing, a new study shows.  After surveying 46,351 men and women about their relationships with food, researchers found that almost 8 percent of the men and 11 percent of the women had a tendency to binge, according to the study which was published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.  Link

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research  ScienceDaily (Oct. 26, 2011) — Binge eating is a disorder which affects both men and women, yet men remain underrepresented in research. A new study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found that the medical impact of the disorder is just as damaging to men as it is to women, yet research has shown that the number of men seeking treatment is far lower than the estimated number of sufferers.  Link

‘Gene overdose’ causes extreme thinness  ScienceDaily (Aug. 31, 2011) — Scientists have discovered a genetic cause of extreme thinness for the first time, in a study published August 30 in the journal Nature. The research shows that people with extra copies of certain genes are much more likely to be very skinny. In one in 2000 people, part of chromosome 16 is duplicated, making men 23 times and women five times more likely to be underweight.  Link

Whether it’s food or drugs, addiction is the same, new study finds  msnbc.com: The Body Odd  (July 13, 2011) by Rita Rubin – You may think you’re addicted to chocolate, but it’s unlikely you cut yourself off from your friends because you’re too embarrassed to scarf down Hershey bar after Hershey bar in front of them…Only a true food addict would go to such extreme behavior…Davis and her colleagues at Toronto’s York University recruited 72 obese men and women, ages 25 to 45, and gave them a questionnaire designed to identify people addicted to drugs or alcohol. The addiction scale, developed by Yale University researchers, focuses on seven symptoms, such as repeatedly trying to quit without success and stopping social and recreational activities. The researchers made one teensy change on the questionnaire: They replaced the word “drugs” with “food.”   Link

Belly fat in men: Why weight loss matters  Mayo Clinic (June 9, 2011) by Mayo Clinic staff – Belly fat is nothing to joke about. Find out what causes belly fat, the health risks it poses for men and what you can do to lose the extra pounds.  If you’re carrying a few extra pounds, you’re not alone. But this is one case where following the crowd isn’t a good idea. Carrying extra weight — especially belly fat — can be risky.  Michael Jensen, M.D., an endocrinology specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., answers common questions about belly fat in men.   Link

Surgery-related weight loss in men reverses testosterone deficiency, study finds    ScienceDaily (June 4, 2011) — Low testosterone levels and symptoms of male sexual dysfunction due to obesity may be reversible with weight loss after bariatric surgery, a new study finds.  The results were presented at The Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting in Boston.  “Morbidly obese men have a high prevalence of hypotestosteronenemia, or low testosterone, and of sexual dysfunction,” said study co-author Jean-Paul Thissen, MD, PhD, a professor at the University of Louvain in Brussels. “It is reassuring that these problems are potentially curable by weight loss.”   Link

An older generation falls prey to eating disorders    New York Times: Well (Mar. 29, 2011) by Tara Parker-Pope – More than 10 million Americans suffer from anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders. And while people tend to think such problems are limited to adolescence and young adulthood, Judith Shaw knows otherwise… Experts say that while eating disorders are first diagnosed mainly in young people, more and more women are showing up at their clinics in midlife or even older. Some had eating disorders early in life and have relapsed, but a significant minority first develop symptoms in middle age. (Women with such disorders outnumber men by 10 to 1.)   Link

Is your junk food habit making you depressed?  Processed food can bring down your mood, a new study finds  msnbc.com (Jan. 15, 2010) by Megan Othersen Gorman— A study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry makes a strong case that processed junk food can trigger or contribute to depression, while eating whole and healthy food seems protective. British and French epidemiologists analyzed food and mood data from 3,486 men and women (average age 55) in the Whitehall II study on London-based office staff. Link

Survey puts new focus on binge eating as a diagnosis    New York Times (Feb 13, 2009) by Nicholas Bakalar — Binge eating is not yet officially classified as a psychiatric disorder. But it may be more common than the two eating disorders now recognized, anorexia nervosa and bulimia.  The first nationally representative study of eating disorders in the United States, a nationwide survey of more than 2,900 men and women, was published by Harvard researchers in the Feb. 1 issue of the journal Biological Psychiatry. It found prevalence in the general population of 0.6 percent for anorexia, 1 percent for bulimia and 2.8 percent for binge-eating disorder.   Link

Boys have greater psychological well-being than girls, due to better physical self-concept, study finds    ScienceDaily (Feb. 12, 2009) — A PhD thesis defended at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) has investigated the relationship between adolescents’ perception of their physical qualities and their psychological well-being and unwellness.   Link

Study: Men’s brains fight food urges better   cnn.com: Health (Jan. 19, 2009) by Anne Harding — PET scans of brains of 23 people were observed, while they looked at favorite foods.   Women’s brain activity didn’t change when asked to suppress desire.  Men showed less activation in brain involved in emotional regulation and motivation.  Men may have better tools for appetite control.   Link

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