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Common Traits (May Include)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Perfectionistic attitude
  • Overachiever
  • Avoidance of conflict
  • Depression and/or
  • Anxiety Need for control
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of self-loathing
  • Need for acceptance
  • Difficultly expressing emotions

Contributing Factors (May Include)


  • Genetics Being overweight or obese as a child
  • Being abused/teased as a child
  • Participating in weight-oriented sports such as wrestling, horse jockeying, or football
  • Impaired sense of self
  • History of dieting


However, there are several differences between men and women when it comes to eating disorders. The age onset for the development of an eating disorder is later for a man than it is for a woman. Men are also more typically overweight before the development of an eating disorder than women are. An eating disorder may go undiagnosed for a longer period of time for a male because it is more acceptable in our society for a man to be a compulsive overeater or overweight. It is not uncommon for a male to be simultaneously suffering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, and to have more sexual anxiety.


Another difference between males and females is the existence of Reverse Anorexia (Bigorexia). A term dubbed by Arnold Anderson, M.D., Reverse Anorexia is a disease in which the person believes that they can never be big enough. They will work to become larger and larger and will continue to bulk up because they think that they will never be muscled or buff enough.


For more information about Males and Eating Disorders, please contact the National Association for Males with Eating Disorders at:



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