Men affected by eating disorders have few options—with research, diagnosis, and treatment all geared towards women. A new study reveals that a quarter of all anorexics in the US are men, as are up to 40% of all binge eaters. "Society sees this as a girl's disease," says LynnGrefe, an eating disorders specialist.
The stigma results in very few men receiving effective treatment. Many centers are reluctant to treat men at all, the Wall Street Journal reports; even the diagnostic criteria for eating disorders are oriented to female patients, including arrested menstruation. Men have different body-image issues, psychiatrist Ted Welzin reports, and more difficulty understanding the emotions behind the disorder.