Though most young girls are associated with the act of starving themselves to look thin and trendy, you may be surprised to know that boys are not much behind in the race. Today, men, too, are found getting obsessed with the self-created contest of ‘Who’s the slimmest of all?’, the only difference between the two being that unlike women, men do not like to make it apparent. As a result, men do not express themselves and succumb to the societal pressures and demands for a perfect physical appearance. Result? A thin and lean body packed with eating disorders! An eating disorder is a chronic condition that has devastating physical, psychological and social consequences, if not immediately adhered to. A person with an eating disorder may either reduce his food intake to the point of not eating at all or puking after every meal or even overeating excessively. Go through the lines below, to know the various types of eating disorders in men and their causes.
Types Of Male Eating Disorders
Continuous starving and dieting can perfectly describe anorexia nervosa. In this disorder, men completely restrict their diet due to fear of gaining weight. The needs to vomit or indulge in excessive exercise, to lose weight, are other signs of anorexia nervosa. Such men continue losing weight to develop what ‘according’ to them is a perfect body image. They do not realize when to stop, as they are always unsatisfied with their body figures. This worsens the disorder, thereby becoming life-threatening at a later stage.
Men suffering from bulimia nervosa tend to consume large amount of food in a short span of time. This eventually results in guilt, which induces them to starve themselves for the rest of the day, in order to balance the food consumed. At times, they make themselves vomit or use laxatives and diuretics. By continuing this, they create a cycle (of eating and puking) which weakens the body. Feelings such as disgust, poor self esteem and depression are commonly experienced by such people. The main concern with this disorder is that just like anorexia, bulimia is also not visible and remains hidden for a long time. Only after a long time, the effects start showing gradually.
Binge Eating Disorder
A person who gorges on high calorie food to fill the emptiness of the stomach is said to suffer from binge eating disorder. These men do not feel guilty after eating. In fact, they feel better and satisfied. The rate of incidence of this disorder is usually high in men suffering from depression and low self esteem. Such men indulge in eating to overcome the emotional issues and stress, eventually, becoming overweight. These men are likely to develop other health related problems.
A person suffering from exercise disorder exercises constantly to lose weight or build muscles, even though he is well-built. There are two types of exercise disorders, namely, compulsive exercise disorder and bigorexia. Compulsive exercise disorder combines anorexia and bulimia and is characterized by a person exercising for several hours a day trying to lose weight and burn calories. In bigorexia, a man perceives himself to be lean and puny and spend hours at the gym trying to develop the desired shape. He may even take up steroids and ignore all family and social responsibilities in the urge to develop a good, muscular body.
Causes of Male Eating Disorders
- Boys who are constantly teased/ ridiculed in their growing years for being overweight develop a poor self image, which leads to the development of an eating disorder.
- Professions like acting, modeling, and any kind of entertainment require men to be thin and good looking. This induces pressure within men, which turns out to be an eating disorder.
- Sportsmen are at a larger risk of developing eating disorders, as almost all the games demand a particular body shape. Losing and putting on weight quickly puts the sportsmen at a higher risk for being infected with eating disorder.
- In order to improve body image, men often indulge in wrong diet patterns that result in eating disorders.
- Research indicates that bisexual or homosexual men are at a larger risk of developing eating disorders. This happens due to the pressure and eagerness to look good and attract attention.
- Just like women, men too fall prey to projecting a perfect body similar to the guys who are in showbiz. To look like models and actors and have a perfectly-chiseled chest, they starve themselves thereby falling victim to eating disorders.