Did you know that 10 million men will suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their lives?  The issue of men and eating disorders has often been called the “silent epidemic” because men are usually less likely to ask for help.  Traditionally men are seen as strong emotionally and not needing psychological assistance.  However, recent studies on the NEDA website report that 33% of adolescent males use inappropriate methods to control their weight and 43% of males report dissatisfaction with their body.

Men Can Get Help With Their Eating Disorder

According to Arnold Andersen and the research he did for his book Males with Eating Disorders, women who develop Eating Disorders feel fat before the onset of their disordered eating behaviors, but typically they are near average weight. Men, however, are more typically overweight medically before the development of the disorder.  In addition, men who are binge eaters or compulsive overeaters may go undiagnosed more than women because of society’s willingness to accept an overeating and/or overweight man more-so than an overeating or overweight woman.

In January of this year, a male model who participated in a fashion show in Paris caused a stir due to his extremely thin body.  He clearly appeared to be anorexic or “manorexic” – the newly trending word for men who are underweight.  “However,  one of the big problems for men with anorexia is that they don’t always have the skeletal look associated with anorexia in women, so it takes longer for loved ones to realize there’s a problem and get help,” said psychiatrist Cynthia Bulik.

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Eating Disorder Treatment Center for Men

Realizing there is a problem is a significant part of the battle, but the other part is finding a facility that will treat men.  Traditionally eating disorders, especially anorexia, has been considered a “women’s disease” but this is an issue that actually is not about food and appearance.  Eating disorders are about feelings, acceptance, approval and control.

Do you know a man that has any of these symptoms:  isolating, purging meals, binging, over exercising and perfectionism?  Don’t assume by looking at his body that he couldn’t possibly be struggling with an eating disorder.  Talk to your friend and help him find a professional to consult.  Remember that Canopy Cove accepts and treats men and adolescent young men with eating disorders so please call us with any questions.

Confidentiality will be respected at all times!

~Karen Gibbons, Director of Programs