Doctors are reporting more teenage boys showing up in emergency rooms than in the past for problems related to eating disorders. Girls are still more likely to seek help, but until boys become more comfortable coming forward they will end up suffering silently until their lives are in danger.
Shocking Stats On Male Teens And Eating Disorders
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Los Angeles Unified School District, high school boys are nearly as likely as girls to use purging or substances to lose weight.only, and girls are only one-tenth percent more likely to use diet pills and other substances than boys. The L.A. boys were shown to use these methods twice as much as those from other parts of the country, perhaps due to pressure to have a perfect beach body.
Other studies show the rise in the percentage of male teens who are suffering from eating disorders is also rising in other big cities like Chicago and Houston. This may be because more males are coming forward for help. 2009 statistics showed that 53 percent more males were hospitalized for eating disorders than they were in 1999.
Why Boys’ Eating Disorders Are Less Likely To Be Noticed
One boy in the study said that males don’t want others to see them counting calories or dieting, and as a result they’re more vulnerable to getting sick from a lack of nutrition because no one is paying attention to their weight loss. On the contrary, their excessive exercise and lean bodies are met with encouragement.
Reasons Boys Suffer From Eating Disorders
Boys suffer from eating disorders for various reasons. Many feel they have to appear “manly,” strong and as rock solid as men in advertisements. Some want to feel tougher after being sexually abused. Others may turn to body image fixation to block out a parent’s substance abuse problems. These behaviors emphasize that eating disorders are mental illnesses requiring treatment and support to overcome.