Have you found yourself asking, “Is binge eating equally common among men and women?” In fact, eating disorders are often wrongly considered to be an exclusively female illness, but studies are showing that binge eating is one that affects nearly equal numbers of men and women. All eating disorders are difficult to treat, but what is so unfortunate about binge eating is that so few men are willing to admit their problem and look for help. This leaves men not only struggling to conquer disordered eating, but at risk for a host of health problems associated with the problem of habitual over-eating. They need to understand that treatment for eating disorders may be necessary in order to recover.
Understanding Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which sufferers severely restrict their own calorie intake. Although sufferers often try to hide their illness, eventually thinness, extreme exercise or obsessions with portion and body size wind up giving them away. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by indulgent overeating followed by self-purging. Again, people with this disorder often try to hide the practice of eating and purging. However, frequent trips to the restroom during meals, sores in the mouth and throat and other signs eventually give them away.
Binge Eating Is Widespread
With binge eating, which affects approximately eight million Americans, a person repeatedly over-eats huge quantities of food (1,500+ calories in a single sitting) but does not purge. These episodes of gorging are quickly succeeded by feelings of guilt, shame, and self-loathing. Many times binge eaters do consume these large quantities in secret. Yet, unless they become obese, their problem can remain hidden for a long time.
People who engage in binge eating face numerous physical health risks. These risks include heart disease and diabetes. They can suffer from digestive issues, such as bloating, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. Overeating can also lead to other medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. On the mental health side of things, binge eaters deal with feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, they endure intense cravings that can lead to further binge eating episodes.
Here’s something else to keep in mind: gorging may result from depression. Around half of those who engage in binging experience current depression or have some sort of mood disordered past history. Keep in mind that not everyone who binge eats is noticeable overweight. This fact can make it difficult to detect those who suffer with the condition.
Additional Dangers For Men
Despite the fact that binge eating poses similar dangers to men and women, the practice is perhaps more problematic for men who tend to view it as a woman’s disease and therefore avoid getting help for their problem. Since many doctors infrequently make a practice of screening overweight men for binge eating, the problem can continue undetected and untreated until their weight causes secondary issues. Men who binge experience significant weight problems at a rate of 70%.
Eating Disorder Treatment at Promises Behavioral Health
Is binge eating equally common among men and women? Now, you know the answer is yes. At Promises Behavioral Health, we recognize that eating disorders are complex and require compassionate care. We offer evidence-based treatment programs tailored to the individual needs of each client, including psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and medical management.
Our caring multidisciplinary team includes recovery coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, and nutritionists who work together to help you develop healthy coping strategies and lasting recovery. Our goal is to help you gain self-acceptance, build positive relationships, stabilize your eating patterns and feelings about food, and learn how to live a fulfilling life without relying on disordered eating behaviors. We provide the highest quality of care so that you can get the treatment you need in an atmosphere of acceptance, respect and trust. We look forward to supporting you in your journey to recovery.
Take the first step toward healing and contact us today at 844.875.5609. We can help you find the path that’s right for you.