Adolescent Male Eating Disorders

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Although less commonly discussed, males also suffer from eating disorders, and the disorders are clinically similar to those of females.

It is estimated that approximately 10–15% of people with anorexia nervosa or bulimia are male, but they are less likely to seek treatment because of the perception that eating disorders are female diseases (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc., n.d.).

Eating disorders are universal diseases that know no boundaries of age, race, or religion. They are psychological disorders that create disturbances to proper diets, causing people to eat very small amounts of food or excessively overeat. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and a binge-eating disorder. A binge-eating disorder is in a category defined as eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). EDNOS involve disturbances in behavior such as restricting diet, excessive exercising, using diet pills or laxatives, and vomiting (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).

With these thoughts in mind:

  1.  which disorder (anorexia, bulimia, or a binge-eating disorder) is more likely to occur in adolescent males.
  2.  Then explain how media, peer pressure, or sports participation might increase the risk of developing an eating disorder in adolescent males.
  3. Finally, suggest one strategy a family or school may use to support an adolescent male with an eating disorder to improve his overall health.

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