True or False: Risk for death may be higher among men with eating disorders vs women. Plus 4 more interesting questions.
Answer: D. 25%. Research suggests that men comprise about 25% of individuals with anorexia nervosa, 36% of those with binge eating disorder, and 25% of those with bulimia nervosa. These percentages, however, may be an underestimate because of lack of awareness and recognition of eating disorders among men. Some men may be under- or misdiagnosed because of a diagnostic framework that focuses on women, and emphasizes overvaluation of thinness vs muscularity. Social stigma for men who seek psychological help may also contribute.1
Question 2. True or false? Risk for death may be higher among men with eating disorders vs their female counterparts.
Answer: A. True. Some research suggests that men with eating disorders may have higher risk of death vs women with eating disorders. Hospitalizations and treatment of men with eating disorders appear to be increasing, which may reflect increasing awareness of the condition.2 Common comorbid conditions among men that may contribute to severity of presentation include anxiety, excessive exercise, depression, and substance disorders.3
Answer: D. Excessive video game playing. Body dysmorphia refers to body image distortion in which an individual has excessive thoughts about lack of muscularity, and often an unfounded belief about being skinny and small. Individuals with body dysmorphia may engage in excessive weight lifting or exercise, anabolic steroid use, and excessive social media use. Playing video games is associated with sedentariness, which is probably not a symptom of muscle dysmorphia.1
Answer: D. A and C. While men with eating disorders may endorse a drive for thinness, they may be more likely to display muscular-disordered eating vs women. Bulking and cutting refers to an oscillation between a drive for muscularity and thinness. Bulking involves targeted consumption of protein, often with rigid but arbitrary guidelines about amount, timing, and type of protein. Cutting refers to extreme dietary restriction intended to decrease fat and increase muscle definition.1
Answer: A. Heterosexual. Most men with eating disorders are heterosexual. However, among men with eating disorders, a higher percentage are gay or bisexual (~15%) vs females with eating disorders.3 Sexual minority individuals with eating disorders may have more symptoms and more body image dissatisfaction vs their heterosexual counterparts. Sexual minority individuals may also have a higher prevalence of purging, using diet pills, and fasting vs heterosexual men.1
1. Gorrell S, Murray SB. Eating disorders in males. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2019;28:641-651.
2. Raevuori A, Keski-Rahkonen A, Hoek HW. A review of eating disorders in males. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2014;27:426-430.
3. The National Eating Disorders Association. Men & eating disorders. NEDA Web site. https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/men-eating-disorders. Accessed September 30, 2019.
Stay in touch with Patient Care® Online
Eating disorders are generally thought to affect only women and not men, however, inÂ the USÂ 10 million men will be affected by eating disorders at some point in their lives. How much do you know about eating disorders in men? Take the quick quiz below to learn more about symptoms, population characteristics, and more.