the binge-eating files » Men / boys

Men, boys and eating disorders: research and links

Many men have a problematic relationship with food – and I’m one of them   The Guardian (Mar 2, 2023) by Adrian Chiles — People often tell me that they don’t have an ‘off switch’ when it comes to drinking. I don’t have that problem, but it’s a different story when it comes to eating … more

Disordered eating is not only a disease of affluent girls   ScienceDaily (Jan 30, 2023) — Predominant stereotypes about eating disorders suggest that it is a condition mainly associated with girls from wealthy backgrounds. However, a new study found that boys living in disadvantaged circumstances are at an increased risk for disordered eating, particularly if they have underlying genetic risk factors. … more

The muscly guy at the gym may be at risk for an eating disorder, experts say.  CNN (Feb 21, 2022) by Madeline Holcombe — When Ryan Sheldon told his family he had an eating disorder, they chuckled in confusion. When he brought it up to his doctor, he was told they missed it because the doctor never would have thought he was at risk … Sheldon, 34 …  has wrestled with problems related to body image since he was 8 years old. When those problems developed into a concrete eating disorder, he had trouble identifying it and getting help in part because of the stereotype that eating disorders only happen in teenage girls. … more

Men experience body image issues, too — and this actor says it’s time to talk about it   CBC Radio (Feb 13, 2022) — New memoir by David Pevsner challenges us to see aging, sexuality and desire in new light. David Pevsner wants to normalize conversation about body image and desire in aging bodies. The 63-year-old actor and author, who shares racy photos and videos on an Only Fans page, said he believes many people his age and older would like to express themselves more freely but that “they feel shameful about it.”… more

Disordered Eating Among Male Elite Athletes: Why irregular eating patterns are often overlooked among men.  Eating Disorders Review (Vol. 32 / No. 5) Eating disorders and disordered eating are among the most common mental illnesses found among elite male and female athletes. Eating disorders are often associated with female elite athletes, but they are often overlooked among elite male athletes, according to Dr. Yannis Karrer and others at the University of Psychiatry, Zurich. After doing an extensive literature search, Dr. Karrer and others identified 80 studies of disordered eating and eating disorders among male elite athletes … more

This is what it’s like for men with eating disorders   Buzzfeed News (February 6, 2021) by Elamin Abdelmahmoud — “A lot of these guys are just excessively, compulsively exercising. We sometimes have people going to the gym, I kid you not, for 10 hours a day.” … Between the rise of Instagram and TikTok, and the supremacy of the heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the last two decades have seen an acceleration in media and technological forces that distort men’s body images. Now, young men are inundated with the pressure to have Captain America’s washboard abs and bodies devoid of an ounce of body fat. The V shape — broad shoulders, six-pack abs, smaller waist — has become the male body ideal. Even men who are famous for their ripped physiques aren’t immune from the shaming that comes with those pressures.  … more

Ed Sheeran reminds us that eating disorders affect men, too    The Guardian (July 29, 2020) by Arwa Mahdawi – Problematic relationships with food are not ‘female’ afflictions – and the more male celebrities who speak honestly about their experiences, the better. here is no amusing or pleasant way to say this: Ed Sheeran used to binge on junk food until he vomited. In a candid interview with Hay House, a US self-help publisher, the singer talked about struggling with anxiety, addiction and body image problems at the height of his career. Sheeran said that he had been reading Elton John’s autobiography and saw a lot of his behaviour reflected in it. “There are so many things that he did that I do. He would be like: ‘I would just go on an ice-cream binge and eat four fucking desserts until I threw up,’ and I was like: ‘I’ve done that before.’” … more

Network Analysis of Males and Eating Disorder Symptoms   Gurze-Salucor ED Catalogue (Nov 3, 2019) by Lauren Forrest, MA — Our study identified specific eating disorder symptoms that may be the main drivers of eating disorders in men. To do this, our symptom network included items that are typically used to assess eating disorders, while also including items that capture experiences that seem to be important to men’s experiences, such as items related to male (vs. female) body ideals. … more

Underdiagnosed Male Eating Disorders Are Becoming Increasingly Identified   NPR (Mar 2, 2019) by Michel Martin and Amanda Morris – In a recent episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, journalist Soledad O’Brien introduces viewers to 24-year-old Logan Davis. Davis sports a classic hockey helmet haircut: his brown hair is long, reaching to his ears and sticking out to the side. Viewers first see Davis in his element: on the ice, tending a goalie net in his Ohio State Buckeye’s college hockey uniform. Playing hockey had been his passion since he was 5, and being a starter goalie for a Big Ten hockey conference team as a college freshman was nothing short of a dream come true for Davis. Davis’ drive propelled him to hockey stardom. That same drive pushed him to develop an eating disorder. … more

Eating Disorders: Are We Missing Men and Minorities?   Medscape (May 11, 2018) by B.S. Yasgur, MA, LSW CME and C.P. Vega, MD, FAAFP – … EDs are underdiagnosed and undertreated in men, minorities, normal and higher-weight individuals, and those who are not affluent, new research shows. Investigators studied college students across the country and found that women were almost 5 times more likely than men to be diagnosed with EDs and that white students were nearly twice as likely to be diagnosed as students of color …. more

Eating disorders in men rise by 70% in NHS figures  The Guardian (Jul 31, 2017) by Sarah Marsh – The number of adult men being admitted to hospital with an eating disorder has risen by 70% over the past six years – the same rate of increase as among women. … The figures come after it was revealed that steroid use among young people quadrupled in the past year. … Dr William Rhys Jones, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ eating disorders faculty, said: “Pressure for body perfection is on the rise for men of all ages, which is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Images of unhealthy male body ideals in the media place unnecessary pressure on vulnerable people who strive for acceptance through the way they look.” … more

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

Study shows differences in brain activity between men, women who are obese  ScienceDaily (May 19, 2017) – A new study of obese people suggests that changes in their brains’ reward regions make them more prone to overeating, and that women and men exhibit different brain activity related to overeating. … 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   National Post (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 (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

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 (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  (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 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? (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 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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