Men with eating disorders are slow to get help
Women aren't the only ones who struggle when it comes to seeking help for eating disorders.
A new study from researchers at Oxford and Glasgow University found that men often don't seek treatment for conditions like anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, or other disordered eating habits
– mostly because of societal stigma about eating disorders being a "female" problem.
For the study, researchers interviewed 29 women and 10 men who all suffered from eating disorders. Men reported it took them longer to recognize the signs of unhealthy habits. And once they did, most of the men were fearful they wouldn't be taken seriously by their doctors or health care providers.
Men see poor outcomes
Sadly, some of the men who did seek treatment were misdiagnosed, while others claimed they had to wait a long time for a specialist referral.
A general lack of information is part of the problem, researchers said, especially when it comes to the education medical professionals receive on eating disorders. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, the symptoms are the same, regardless of gender: fear of gaining weight, binge eating or purging, and self-esteem issues related to body weight or shape.
Recognizing that any type of eating disorder is a gender-neutral disease is key, the researchers concluded.
"Men with eating disorders are underdiagnosed, undertreated and under-researched," they wrote.
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