A new study suggests that there’s a fivefold risk for men to not be diagnosed with an eating disorder as compared to women. This may be why many of them miss treatment and often develop heart issues or become obese.
Eating disorders include a cluster of conditions like binge eating, anorexia, overconsumption, and bulimia. Sufferers either binge on food or not eat enough of it, have irregular eating habits, or are overly concerned about their body image and weight.
Prof. Kendrin Sonneville, who was involved in the study, believes that men are at risk of under diagnosis because of the stereotype about women usually developing eating disorders. However, overweight white men, African Americans and Hispanics also have a high risk of eating disorders.
The study involved 1,700 students. Researchers found female college students were 1.5 times more likely to be diagnosed and get a treatment than their male peers. Also, wealthy students were two times more likely to get a diagnosis.
Most People Unaware They Have an Eating Disorder
White participants were two times more likely to get treatment than blacks or Hispanics. Overweight or obese students, on the other hand, were half as likely to get a diagnosis when compared to the underweight.
Sonneville warned that most patients with an eating disorder rarely get diagnosed. They fail to understand that there are treatment options that can improve their health and general well-being at little to no cost.
Also, this may be because many people who live with an eating disorder misunderstand what their condition really is about since they have only the media stereotypes on their hand.
Anorexia is also more likely to be diagnosed than bulimia or the binge eating disorder, the study found. Researchers recommend universal screening for reducing the disparities.
The findings appeared this week in the International Journal of Eating Disorders.
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