When you think of eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, you usually think of women who are obsessed with their weight and image. Today, anorexia is taking on a new face and is now common in men. Sometimes called “manorexia,” eating disorders are causing men across the globe to become absorbed in their image and having the perfect body.
Men with Anorexia
In a study by Harvard University in 2007, it was observed that 25 percent of those who were struggling with anorexia or bulimia were men. This observation also showed researchers men are more apt to suffer from eating disorders than they originally thought.
Through media, men get the idea that they have to have perfect model body type. This means six pack abs and massive biceps. Instead of dieting and working out in a healthy manner, they are taking more drastic measures. Manorexic men are spending long, tedious hours at the gym, sometimes lifting more weight than they can handle, along with hardly eating. When these men are not satisfied, they will do anything to achieve “perfection.”
The British Health Service (NHS) recently released startling data. The report showed a 66 percent increase in admissions to the hospitals in England, with men who were suffering eating disorders. This number is calculated over the past decade.
NHS calculations have also shown that approximately 1.5 million people living in the U.K. are suffering with anorexia or bulimia. They believe that one in five eating disorder cases are derived from the obsession to have the perfect body. This obsession is caused, in part, by male models and what is seen and heard on TV and in magazines.
Bulimia in Men
Bulimia is just as pressing as anorexia in men. It affects three times more people than anorexia does, but it is also much harder to detect. Current estimates say that at least 10 percent of all individuals living with bulimia are men.
Many of the issues surrounding bulimia are guilt, shame, and low self-esteem, which is understandable since eating disorders are usually looked at as a women’s disease. Because of this stereotype, men are more reluctant to seek any professional help.
Men are also under pressure to seem strong and independent. They have a harder time than women expressing their emotions and don’t want others to know they are struggling with any issues, let alone their appearance.
While eating disorders do not seem like something that needs to be addressed with men, it needs to be looked at twice. With society the way it is, both men and women can suffer from these life-threatening illnesses.