“Men absolutely do struggle with eating, food, and body image. That’s often assumed to not be the case,” says Tom Wooldridge, PsyD. He's the co-executive director of The National Association of Males with Eating Disorders. He’s also clinical psychologist who helps treat men.
“With increased awareness, more and more men will get a correct diagnosis -- and that diagnosis is the first step into treatment,” he says.
Binge Eating: Men vs. Women
People don’t discuss this disorder in men as openly as for women, so many guys with the condition don't know they have it. Or they think it can’t, or shouldn’t, happen to them.
Only about 1 in 10 men with an eating disorder seek care from a mental health provider. Doctors say this means the number of men with eating disorders might be higher than they think.
If you have binge eating disorder, you’re likely to:
If you notice any of these signs, talk to your doctor or an eating disorders specialist. Treatment can help you learn why you binge and show you how to approach food in a healthier way.
Why Men Binge Eat
They do it for many of the same reasons that women do.
Poor body image is one common trigger. Like women, many men are unhappy with the way they look.
Women usually want to get thinner, like celebrities and models they see on TV.
Men often want the toned, athletic body that society says is needed to make them more competitive in sports, work, and romantic relationships. This can drive some men to unhealthy eating habits, including binge eating.
Men might also binge eat because they: