Eating Disorders In Boys
Over the past few decades, we've taken huge strides forward in how our society deals with eating disorders. Most people now understand how devastating, dangerous, and difficult to overcome these disorders can be. However, there is still one big gap in knowledge that needs to be addressed. The fact that eating disorders are very common in boys.
Although disorders like bulimia and anorexia are common in both boys and girls, male eating disorders are often ignored, denied, or swept under the rug. This leaves boys struggling with these problems in a situation that frequently leads to severe damage to their health and even death in some cases. This is a terrible tragedy in large part due to how preventable it is.
If parents were just more informed about the fact that that boys can potentially develop life threatening eating disorders, they would be able to get them the treatment and support they require.
We Need To Take These Disorders Seriously
A recent study published by JAMA Pediatrics had stark findings about the prevalence and severity of eating disorders in boys. They found that more than 18 percent of boys are extremely concerned with their weight.
The study goes on to claim that "boys in the study who were extremely concerned about weight were more likely to be depressed, and more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors such as binge drinking and drug use." Both of these findings confirm that eating disorders are a problem area for many boys, but what can we do to fix this problem?
What Should Parents Do?
The most important thing for parents to remember is to simply be open in communication with their children and ready to seek out solutions to any problems that arise. Don't just assume that your son doesn't have an eating disorder because he's a boy.
Keep an open mind about your child and the potential problems they may encounter. This will allow you to respond as effectively as possible when issues do arise. Make sure you don't leave your son to struggle with an eating disorder alone.