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Eating Disorders in the Male Population

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

Blog post written by,

Yaneth Beltran, RD/LDN, CEDRD

Eating disorders are common mental disorders that have gained attention especially among the male population. Studies suggest that approximately 10 million men suffer from an Eating Disorder. Eating disorders are less likely to be diagnosed in part because there are not many male specific assessments for males with an eating disorder. Additionally, eating disorder symptoms could also be underreported in part due to the stigma that eating disorders are a “women’s disease.”

A study completed in California mentioned the need to outline some special considerations and challenges when assessing eating disorders in male populations with the hope that a greater understanding of male-specific presentation may be elucidated. It is important to remember that eating disorders affect the physical and mental health of individuals and their association with decreased quality of life has been demonstrated, therefore, increasing awareness into destigmatizing eating disorders and recognizing that eating disorders do not discriminate.

Besides the well-known concept of healthy eating that often times masks the development of anorexia nervosa, male population use exercise as a way to control the percentage of fat in their bodies and sometimes eating patterns of restriction and then binging are seen as healthy eating and muscle building behaviors.

These are some of the risk factors that need to be further assessed as they could cause the development of an eating disorder or maintain it:

  • Body image pressure of being muscular and toned to have an ideal body shape.

  • Excessive exercise: eating disorders in athletes are on the rise and many of the symptoms are seen as normal behaviors especially when they are involved in athletic pursuits that require them to monitor the weight or have a specific percentage of body fat.

  • Limiting the intake of nutrients at times and then eating large quantities of food. Often times, these behaviors could be confused with disorder eating due to the presentation of symptoms.

  • Medical concerns like electrolyte abnormalities (low levels of potassium, calcium and sodium), low body weight, heart/ hematologic abnormalities (bradycardia, anemia, leukopenia, thrombocytopenia) are being only associated with their athletic performance

It is important to remember that eating disorders affect all races, cultures and ethnicities. Eating disorders may affect athletes at much higher rates than the general population. If you are concerned about you or a loved one, please contact us and receive a FREE consult and information about our services. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent and minimize the danger of eating disorders.



Eating Disorder and OCD Registered Dietitian

I take a holistic approach to wellness by providing nutritional counseling to clients that want to establish a healthy relationship with food. I am a compassionate person, who believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship between clients and professionals. For a FREE phone consultation and more information about nutritional counseling, please call me directly at 954.773.3139. Services available in English/Spanish and Online.


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