Despite the common misconception that eating disorders occur only in women, about one in three people struggling with an eating disorder is male. Almost 10 million males will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. In addition to anorexia and bulimia (10-15% of those diagnosed), males commonly seek treatment for orthorexia and binge eating.
Orthorexia nervosa differs from other eating disorders in that the focus is on the quality of the food that is eaten instead of the quantity of food. Orthorexia does not share the same characteristics of anorexia and bulimia, where one of the main symptoms includes a fear of weight gain that lead to extreme lifestyle behaviors. Orthorexia often begins with a focus on health and gradually becomes an obsession for those seeking “purity” by eating the “right” food. Those suffering from orthorexia find that they are spending a great amount of their time planning and preparing foods that are seen as healthy. The result of orthorexia may be malnutrition because of an overall unbalanced diet.
Binge eating is currently the most common eating disorder and there are more males than females that are diagnosed with the disorder. The symptoms of binge eating disorder are similar in men and women, and include:
• Eating large amounts of food in short periods of time
• Eating in secret and/or hiding food
• Eating regardless of hunger
• Eating as a distraction from negative feelings
If left untreated, binge eating can lead to serious health issues including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Now is the time to ask for help—If you or someone you care about has been putting off getting help for an eating disorder, now is a good time to reach out. Turning Tides Eating Disorder Treatment Center provides a staff that includes a Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, mental health counselors and dietitians offering treatment through traditional in-person counseling along with telemedicine sessions. To learn more about the programs being offered, please visit, www.turningtidesed.com.