Eating disorders in men on the rise


Male eating disorders are on the rise in the United States, experts say.

While body image issues are commonly associated with women, figures show men admitted into hospitals for eating disorders has risen 70 percent from 2010 to 2016.

Experts say the gradual increase is partly due to male celebrities such as Aaron Carter, Eminem and Robert Pattinson being open about their own body struggles.

But stigmas still remain, coverage is lacking, and seeking treatment is not seen as 'manly'.

Daily Mail Online spoke with Bethany Kassar, a licensed clinical social worker and executive director of Outpatient Services at Summit Behavioral Health, about the rise in male eating disorders and how society has impacted their ability to seek help.

Robert Pattinson admitted in 2013 that he struggled with body dysmorphia. He would get extreme anxiety before events because he never felt he looked good enough

Aaron Carter said in an interview with 'The Doctors' airing Wednesday and Thursday that he is addicted to cosmetic surgery. He does these surgeries because of how unhappy he is with his appearance

Both Robert Pattinson (left) and Aaron Carter (right) have suffered from body dysmorphic disorder. This differs from an eating disorder because someone will compulsively focus on one or multiple issues with their body. Instead of eating or not eating to change something, they will workout or use surgery to alter their appearance

Eating disorders and how prevalent they are for males

An estimated 20 million women and 10 million men in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. 

Researchers have found that common eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and using laxatives are almost as prevalent in males as they are in females.

This research as become apparent as hospitals and clinics in the last six years have experienced an increase of 70 percent of male patients seeking help for an eating disorder.

'What we are seeing is there are more men seeking treatment,' Kassar said.  


It can often be very difficult to identify that a loved one or friend has developed an eating disorder.

Warning signs to look out for include:

Missing meals Complaining of being fat, even though they have a normal weight or are underweight Repeatedly weighing themselves and looking at themselves in the mirror Making repeated claims that they've already eaten, or they'll shortly be going out to eat somewhere else and avoiding eating at home Cooking big or complicated meals for other people, but eating little or none of the food themselves Only eating certain low-calorie foods in your presence, such as lettuce or celery Feeling uncomfortable or refusing to eat in public places, such as at a restaurant The use of 'pro-anorexia' websites

It can be difficult to know what to do if you're concerned about a friend or family member. 

It's not unusual for someone with an eating disorder to be secretive and defensive about their eating and their weight, and they may deny being unwell.

Source: NHS Choices 

With the increase in men experiencing eating disorders, there has also been more males checking into clinics or hospitals to get help. 

And part of this rise can be contributed to male celebrities speaking about their own issues with their bodies.

Dennis Quaid in the 90s lost more than 40lbs because of his anorexia. 

He came forward in 2006 to People Magazine about how he wasn't satisfied with his body for a long time. 

'For many years, I was obsessed about what I was eating, how many calories it had and how much exercise I'd have to do,' he said.

Rapper Eminem replaced his drug addiction in 2007 for an eating disorder as he went from 230lbs to 149lbs.

He told Men's

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