Perception of Eating Disorders
Today as I was reading The Boston Globe online I came across an interesting article Eating disorders are a guy thing, too. It is about how eating disorders are a problem for males and not just females, as many people believe. The article shows many different statistics on the topic; for example, “men are one-third as likely as women to have anorexia or bulimia and more than half as likely to have a binge eating disorder.” The article also brings up the fact that it is unknown why male eating disorders have always flown under the radar. For all these years when eating disorders are taught in school they are usually in connection with females and act as if they are not a problem for males. Ruth Striegel, a renown eating disorder researcher, stated that no research has been done to discover the mystery behind male eating disorders. Although there is connection between athletes and eating disorders because they often try to make a certain weight or gain muscle by over-excersicing. Another stereotype that comes along with eating disorders is that gay men are more likely to suffer from them because they are concerned about their image. This is actually not true, in that straight men are just as likely to have eating disorders, but gay men are more likely to admit it. Overall the article brings awareness to the fact that people should not stereotype eating disorders to a certain group of people, whether it be women or gay men, because it is something that affects many different groups of people.
For me, I learned a lot from this article. I always believed that eating disorders didn’t really impact men and it was only really a girl problem. I also found it fascinating that although some research has been done on males and eating disorders there really isn’t that much and it is still a topic with many gaps. It made me wonder why it has been skimmed over. Why are girls and eating disorders immediately connected? Is it because the media and our schools have always portrayed it that way? Will there be more scientific research done in the future to learn about the link between males and eating disorders? Thoughts?