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Graphic: Men Are More Likely to Suffer From Eating Disorders Than You Think


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More than 10 million men in the US today will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetimes, according to a study by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Although eating disorders are often portrayed as a women’s problem, the reality is that men are frequently under-diagnosed due to gender biases. A young boy is typically told to “man up,” when a young girl is taken to the hospital, reports ABC News.

“Our findings suggest that men may experience particular problems in recognizing that they may have an eating disorder as a result of the continuing cultural construction of eating disorders as uniquely or predominantly a female problem,” explain the authors of a separate study, published in the journal BMJ Open.

And NEDA agrees: “Higher levels of gender role conflict and traditional masculine ideals are associated with negative attitudes towards seeking psychological help.”  As depicted in the infograph below, NEDA has found that 33% of adolescent males use unhealthy weight control behaviors, but don’t identify these behaviors as a problem.