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Eating Disorders in Boys

Most of us associate eating disorders with girls, but the sad fact is that boys can suffer too. Recent research in schools and colleges is starting to reveal worryingly high levels of disordered eating behaviour in boys and young men along with many who struggle with obsessive exercise patterns. The recent UK study found that boys, as well as girls, are affected by body image ideals and suffer body dissatisfaction. Whilst girls want to be very thin, boys are more likely to seek muscular tone but the pursuit of this ideal can still lead to an eating disorder developing.

Research shows that about one quarter of people affected by an eating disorder at school age are boys. Nearly half of them rate exercise as important to their self-esteem, and as many as 1/3 report feeling distressed if they cannot exercise as much as they would like.

Recognising and diagnosing eating disorders in boys

What can parents do if they are concerned?

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