Manorexia: Males & Eating Disorders
A recent parenting article from Common Sense Media reported that 25 percent of anorexics and bulimics and 40 percent of binge eaters were men.
Unlike females, who just want to be thin, men cite a desire to have chiseled bodies and "six-pack" abs like those of famous stars and athletes, according to a recent report by researchers at Harvard.
To help our teens resist unhealthy ways of obtaining perfect bodies, Common Sense Media suggested we do a number of things:
- Tell our teens that few men actually look like those famous people, and – if they do it – it is with a lot of support, work, money, and, in some cases, surgery
- Ask our kids about their friends' risky behavior, including disordered eating, steroid use, and over exercising
- Watch for signs of eating disorders, including drastically changing eating patterns, vomiting, sudden weight loss, large muscle growth, and a jump in exercising time
A newer, and less accepted, form of disordered eating is called "orthoexia" and manifests as a fixation with only eating food that is healthy or organic. This is not a bad thing unless the need to eat well becomes the primary focus of life and eating must be balanced by excessive exercise.
If you are concerned about your teen's eating, make an appointment with your child's doctor immediately. The earlier intervention begins, the more likely it is to be successful.
Disclaimer: This content is the opinion of the author(s) and not necessarily that of your health care provider, the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, or Sutter Health.
This information is provided for your general information and education only, and should not be relied upon for personal diagnosis or treatment.
If you feel like you have an illness or need emotional support for a problem, please contact your personal physician NOW.
Back to top
Written & Reviewed By:
PAMF Senior Research Associate
Nancy Brown, Ph.D., M.A., Ed.S.
Last Reviewed: October 2013
Below are links PAMF accessed when researching this topic. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them.
National Eating Disorders Association.
For More Information:
See our Eating Disorders article.