We Treat and Support Males With Eating Disorders

A common misconception is eating disorders are female-only conditions, when in fact, they impact all genders, sexual orientations, races and socioeconomic statuses. This includes males.

According to NEDA, 10 million men (6% of all males) will be affected by an eating disorder at some point in their lives. While the majority of cases impact women, the gap between females and males is smaller than many perceive:

  • 0.9% of women and 0.3% of men had anorexia during their life (Biological Psychiatry)
  • 1.5% of women and 0.5% of men had bulimia during their life (Biological Psychiatry)
  • 3.5% of women and 2.0% of men had binge eating disorder during their life (Biological Psychiatry)
  • The rate of eating disorders among college students has risen 10-20 percent among women; 4-10 percent among men (NEDA)

Eating Disorders Among Men

Males of all ages are impacted by eating disorders, and deserve access to the same types of treatment, support and resources.

Men, though, are less likely to seek treatment, largely in part to a heightened cultural stigma, fears of seeking treatment or outright denial. Additionally, men are more prone to fail to recognize the proper symptoms of an eating disorder. Since eating disorder symptoms can intensity when left unattended, men frequently require more intensive treatment and higher levels of care when they ultimately seek help.

In a study quoted by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 25% of individuals with anorexia and/or bulimia and 36% of those with binge eating disorder were male. Many believe however, that due to a plethora of reasons – including stigma – that the percentage of males with eating disorders is actually higher (NEDA).

In addition, disordered eating behaviors not classified as clinically significant in the DSM-5, are nearly as common in males as in females. Such behaviors may include binge eating, purging and fasting, but not to the degree that an eating disorder would be diagnosed.

As more research and education have become available and utilized, more males have come forward seeking treatment. However, there are a limited number of treatment centers with programming for men, compared with women.

Eating Disorders Treatment for Males: A Full System of Care

Walden Behavioral Care offers evidence-based eating disorder treatment and therapy for males of all ages – adults, adolescents and children. This includes individualized programming at all levels of care, including:

Walden has 14 locations across New England and Georgia. This includes two inpatient units, a residential facility and 11 ambulatory care clinics. Individuals can receive care at clinics and hospitals located in Amherst, Braintree, Milford, Peabody, Waltham and Worcester, Mass.; Guilford, South Windsor and Vernon, Conn., and Alpharetta, Decatur and Dunwoody, Ga.

Regain Your Life. Walden Can Help.

If you are concerned that you – or a loved one – may have an eating disorder, we are here to help. Please call 781-647-6727 to speak with a Walden eating disorders intake specialist, or complete the form on this page, to start the road to recovery.

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