The number of adult men being admitted to the hospital with an eating disorder has risen by 70 percent over the past six years, according to recent NHS England figures.
In the United States, 10 million men struggle with eating disorders – and these numbers don’t account for the cases that are underreported, not recognized or untreated due to stigma, shame or lack of education, say experts.
Just like addiction, eating disorders don’t discriminate and can affect people of all genders, races, ages, ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, weights and body types.
“Pressure for body perfection is on the rise for men of all ages, which is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder. Images of unhealthy male body ideals in the media place unnecessary pressure on vulnerable people who strive for acceptance through the way they look,” said Dr. William Rhys Jones, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ eating disorders faculty, in a statement.
And while social media may be helping to bring more awareness to the issue, we’re still a long ways away. A lack of understanding and sympathy for men suffering from eating disorders remain a barrier, said Dr. Rhys Jones. “We must continue to address the ongoing gender bias around eating disorders so every man who is suffering feels comfortable to get help when they need it.”
Eating Disorders and Addiction
Many men suffer from disordered eating and substance abuse disorders. For example, some abuse heroin and cocaine to boost weight loss or over-the-counter medications to suppress appetite. Roughly one million American men have become dependent on steroids, using high doses for years, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. What’s more, food and body image struggles commonly surface during early recovery, after the substance abuse has ceased.
Disordered Eating During Recovery
At 10 Acre Ranch, we understand that substance abuse can often go hand in hand with disordered eating. Along these lines, we offer our male clients dual diagnosis treatment as well as nutritional therapy. To learn more, call: 877-228-4679.