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Men Also Struggle With Binge Eating

by Sandy Todd Webster on Jan 02, 2013

Research

Because of the wealth of research on eating disorders in women, people often mistakenly think of these illnesses as exclusively female problems. However, binge eating—defined as eating excessive amounts of calories over short periods of time and often in private (but without purging, as in bulimia)—is a disorder that affects both men and women.

A study published last March in the Interna­tional Journal of Eating Disorders found that the medical impact of binge eating is just as damaging to men as it is to women, yet research has shown that the number of men seeking treatment is far lower than the estimated number of sufferers.

“Binge eating is closely linked to obesity and excessive weight gain as well as the onset of hypertension, diabetes and psychiatric disorders such as depression,” said lead author Ruth H. Striegel, PhD, from Wesleyan University, Connecticut, in a press release. “However, most of the evidence about the impact of binge eating is based on female samples, as the majority of studies into eating disorders recruit women.”

As so few studies have included male subjects, and eating disorders continue to be widely seen as female issues, there is concern that men may be reluctant to seek treatment, or that healthcare providers may be less likely to detect a disorder in a male patient.

“The underrepresentation of men in binge eating research does not reflect lower levels of impairment in men versus women,” concluded Striegel. “Efforts are needed to raise awareness of the clinical implications of binge eating for men so they can seek appropriate screening and treatment.”

IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips, Volume 2, Issue 1

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About the Author

Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster IDEA Author/Presenter

Sandy Todd Webster is Editor in Chief of IDEA's publications, including the award-winning IDEA FITNESS JOURNAL and IDEA FOOD & NUTRITION TIPS, the industry's leading resources for fitness, wellness and nutrition professionals worldwide. Sandy joined IDEA in 2001 as executive editor of IDEA PERSONAL TRAINER and IDEA FITNESS MANAGER magazines and was promoted to lead the editorial team in 2003. More than 20 years in magazine publishing, marketing communications and creative services have shaped her straightforward approach to multi-channel communication. Early experience in Los Angeles as a sports writer/reporter, and then enriching years as a managing editor in allied health care publishing have pulled her across a spectrum of stimulating subject matter. Fitness, health and nutrition reside at the perfect center of this content continuum, she feels. A Chicago native, Sandy grew up fully engaged in various competitive sports. Her drive and dedication as an athlete translate to a disciplined work ethic and unwavering approach to challenge in her career. Shortly after graduating journalism school from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, she was recruited to L.A. for her first post in magazine publishing. After two decades of working on magazines--and now in the throes of applying the unbelieveable multi-media content delivery options available in the magazine 2.0 world--she is still "completely in love" with the creative process it takes to deliver meaningful, inspirational content to end users. She is an accomplished home cook and gardner who would love to combine those skills and passions with her health and fitness background to continue educating readers about a well-balanced, healthy lifestyle.