Sunday, March 22, 2009

Anorexia: Not just for the girls

While eating disorders such as anorexia and bullimia are generally associated with women, it might surprise you to learn that Australia has one of the highest rates of males diagnosed with eating disorders worldwide.

Figures from The Butterfly Foundation, show that one in four children diagnosed in Australia with these conditions are male. The Foundation reports that one in three male year 9 students used strategies such as fasting, vomiting, diet pills, laxatives and smoking to keep weight down.

The Foundation's chief executive Christine Morgan indicates this most likely reflects a greater increase on male body image, similar to that faced by females.

"As the focus turns more and more to men being skinny,
that pressure on their body image increases. You
start down that process of very disordered eating."

I'm not sure we should be surprised. With all the airbrushing of images, which coincidentally Coffeeyoghurt happens to be discussing currently, and the unrealistic images promoted to us all, why shouldn't men be equally affected. What do you think?


Psychgrad said...

I am often reminded of how self-conscious men are. It's certainly not limited to women.

Alison said...

Thanks for the Butterfly Foundation link. I've already been able to pass it onto someone who could benefit.